ATLANTIC CITY — In one of the city's most violent weekends in recent memory, shootings claimed the lives of two men and left two others injured, bringing the resorts' homicide total to 14 this year, surpassing last year’s total of 12.
Five shootings occurred within a 26-hour time period.
“It’s quite a number of shootings for one weekend,” Atlantic City police Sgt. Monica McMenamin said Monday. “I don’t know if it’s the most, but it is a lot.
“It was a busy weekend with both the entertainment in town and the number of shootings,” she added.
Although the shootings happened outside the boundaries of the city’s new Tourism District, they were seen as more tarnish on the city’s image as a safe tourist destination. But that is not what worries officials most.
“It’s unfortunate, and at times, as an elected official, you feel helpless,” said Councilman Marty Small, who represents the city’s 2nd Ward, where four of the weekend shootings occurred. “People are always focusing on the image of Atlantic City and what the outsiders think ... but what’s more important is how does that mom or dad or family feel that they’ve lost a loved one.”
Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel identified Corleone Hayes, 29, of Atlantic City, as one of the two victims killed. Hayes died in a shooting that occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday on the 1300 block of Baltic Avenue.
Forty-five minutes earlier and less than a mile away, 17-year-old Darren Holcomb-Tally was shot on the 800 block of North Maryland Avenue. Police Capt. William McMenamin said the shooting occurred at a playground, and Holcomb-Tally was hit several times in the torso.
Of the three other shootings, one took place Saturday evening and two occurred early Sunday:
- At 6 p.m. Saturday at the Disston Apartments on the 1700 block of Arctic Avenue. One man, who was shot in the face, has been arrested. Police are still searching for the other suspect involved.
- At 12:45 a.m. Sunday on the 600 block of North Virginia Avenue. No arrests have been made.
- At 2:45 a.m. Sunday at Atlantic and Indiana avenues. No arrests have been made.
Police have not released the identities of the victims.
Small said he knew one of the victims killed Sunday.
"My feeling on this is it's disgusting," he said. "I know we keep saying something has to be done, but it's not going to change until we reach out to the troubled youth and try to provide them with opportunities."
Councilman-at-Large Mo Delgado said he was alerted to the shootings by a resident who heard the gunshots and was concerned for her safety.
Delgado said the weekend's violence highlighted the two sides of Atlantic City.
"It's an ongoing tale of two cities," he said, adding the city's tourism side boasts the "uber-wealth" of the casinos which, oftentimes, overshadows the bleak reality of a city riddled with poverty. "We need to meet somewhere in the middle."
The violence occurred during a weekend in which the resort hosted a major concert Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall featuring hip-hop heavyweights Kanye West and Jay-Z. The sold-out concert brought a little more than 13,000 people into the city.
Police have drawn no connection between the concert and the violence, and none should be drawn, Small said.
Delgado said the city's crime rate is not as high as that of other cities, such as Camden or Philadelphia, but "it's still too high for us."
"It's sad. The fact is our young men under the age of 30 are the victims of their own demise," he said.
With two others suffering gunshot wounds in this weekend's shootings, McMenamin said police are searching for a suspect connected to the Disston Apartments shooting. The suspect is described as a man with a stocky build and a beard. He was wearing dark clothing and a skull cap, McMenamin said. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Kevin Green, 20, of Atlantic City, already has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and contempt of court in connection with that shooting. Green was part of the gunfight and suffered a gunshot wound to the face, McMenamin said.
Additionally, Tyquinn James, 24, and Linitra Green, 24, both of Atlantic City, were charged with obstructing the administration of the law, police said.
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