MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Police on Monday identified two victims in Sunday morning’s Rangeline Road homicide. This was the grim backdrop when WKRG News 5 asked newly sworn-in Chief of Police Paul Prine what his department is doing about violent crime in Mobile, now that 2021 is the second deadliest year in the last two decades.
Dwan Williams, 23, and Andre Carter, 36, were already dead when Mobile Police arrived to the scene on Rangeline Road at 3:20 a.m. Sunday. The two were found shot to death in a vehicle.
Prine told WKRG Williams and Carter had been to a club in Prichard. As they drove home to Mississippi, a car pulled up beside them and shot.
Prine said a lot of these calls come in during the same hours, so it’s difficult getting officers out.
“A lot of the problems that you’re seeing are occurring during high peek calls for service and those occur during 3 p.m. to 9 or 10 p.m.,” Prine said. “And when you have this high call volume it’s hard to get those particular resources in those areas.”
But the department has increased patrols, especially in the first and third precincts where they have seen the most crime.
Patrols can only do so much, especially if, as Prine said, most of the violence is about retaliation.
“Probably 90 percent of those you’ve seen over the last six weeks have been,” he said. “And just because we don’t make an arrest on it, doesn’t mean we don’t know who the players are.”
Prine pointed out his department needs more than to know who’s involved. They also need victims and witnesses to cooperate.
“In a lot of these cases, the victims are not cooperating, they’re not giving us information.”
Prine is hopeful. In October, 12 officers graduated from the MPD academy and those dozen are already on the streets, patrolling in crime-scarred areas. 16 more officers graduate this month. Prine said he’s ready to get them out on the streets, too.
“It’s unfortunate for the victims that lost their life and the family that’s having to cope with it and it’s also unfortunate for the City of Mobile because the violent crime occurred in our jurisdiction,” Prine said.
Prine said he has suspects in custody for most violent crimes. But there are some crimes with suspects still at large. Hezekiah Belfon, 19, one of the suspects police say fired shots at Ladd-Peebles Stadium during a high school football game, is still on the run more than a month after the shooting.
Belfon is not yet on Mobile Police’s “Most Wanted” list, but Prine said he will be soon.