Conway city leaders respond to two murders in two weeks

Two murders in two weeks and a number of shootings recently are causing concern in Conway.

"I'm sure the community is very concerned. We are very concerned. The city county is very concerned," said Conway Mayor Alys Lawson.

On December 28, a man drove his car into the side of a home at Durant and Hemingway Street after he was shot and killed.

This Monday, two men were shot at a home on 6th Avenue less than a half a mile away. One of the victims died a day later.

Police are still looking for those responsible. But at this time, police aren't sure if the two murders are related.

"The one that happened in late December was the only homicide that happened for the year of 2012," she said. "Those numbers prove that it's not something that happens frequently here. However, recently we've had an upturn, and it's very discouraging."

Stopping violent crimes like these is a priority, Lawson said. But she believes the two recent events are not the start of a trend.

"We do think they're isolated incidents, and they don't reflect what goes on annually in the city," Lawson said.

"It's unfortunate that it occurs. Anytime we lose a life anywhere, it has an impact. But, Conway is a safe city," said Conway Police Chief Reginald Gosnell.

The rash of crime comes from a mixture of drugs, gangs and domestic violence and often occur in specific areas, Gosnell said.

"Historically the calls have came in from our housing projects, in Garden Terrace Huckabee Heights and those surrounding communities. Mostly the communities east of the 378 corridor and with that being the case, we do have extra patrols, extra man power devoted to those sectors."

His department is focusing on community programs with kids ages six to 16-years-old to provide good role models and keep violent crimes from occurring.

Gosnell believes both crimes involved younger adults.

If you have any information on these killings, you're asked to call Conway Police at 248-1790.