“Everyone is concerned.” Mayor communicating daily with area police following rise in violence.
Published 9:52 am Monday, December 26, 2022
Mayor Larry Spears Jr. says several members of the community have reached out to him, “rightfully so,” asking questions like “what’s going on” and “what are we doing about it.”
There is definitely a concern in Orange, he said, referencing a run of gun violence, shooting victims and a homicide recorded over a five-day span.
“When you see these types of stories on the news or in bigger cities, you always say, ‘well, in a small town, we don’t have that,’” Spears acknowledged while speaking Monday morning with Orange Newsmedia. “Now to see that happening here, citizens are concerned. I have ensured them our police department, our detectives, our dispatchers, our first responders are on top of it, working it. We have leads. We are doing our investigations. My biggest thing is once we find who these people are, we definitely want them prosecuted and put away so we can eliminate this problem in our community.”
Orange Police Department homicide investigators worked through the holiday weekend after discovering a fatal shooting victim Saturday before daybreak.
At 2:41 a.m. Saturday, officers were dispatched to 2108 Link Avenue in reference to a welfare check. There, officers discovered a deceased male located inside a vehicle in the driveway of the home.
The victim, 26-year-old local man Asif Imran, sustained multiple gunshots.
The Orange Police Department detective division is leading the case.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Orange Police Department at 409-883-1026 or Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Spears said he has spoke with the city manager and police chief, as well others in law enforcement.
“It has been a daily update as to where we are, what have we seen, any positive improvements on tracking this down,” he said. “We definitely are keeping a strong communication, because everyone is concerned. Everyone wants this solved, and we want these people who are doing these crimes put away. We want to restore the feeling of safety, the warm feeling of a small community and love for everyone back to our city.”
Imran’s shooting follow’s a string of violence reported by Orange authorities.
The recent concerns began with a shooting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of Pacific Street. When police arrived they found a 30-year-old man with a gunshot wound. They identified the victim as an Orange resident.
He was taken to a hospital and was last listed in stable condition early last week.
Another shooting was reported in the pre-dawn hours two days later.
Officers were dispatched to 3751 Hemlock Lane at 2:27 a.m. Thursday following a disturbance.
Responding officers located a male with several gunshot wounds.
Where the victim was found or his current health status is not immediately known.
Police have not released suspect information associated with any of the shootings.
Spears said the gun violence in Orange “is definitely not the norm for our community.”
He called it very disheartening.
“I am saddened by it because myself, as well as all of the leaders across the city and county, are working to be positive, uplifting and to do things to bring families together,” Spears said. “To hear of this type of violence, where people are being shot, family members are being lost, definitely goes against what we have been working so hard for the past few years.”