New Suffolk DA forms 'violent criminal enterprise' team as shootings across county rise
Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney tells News 12 he has a plan to combat a rise in shootings and other crimes across Long Island.
In early December, a Shirley man was found fatally shot in the woods in Coram - and just a few days later, a man was killed in a fight at the Tiffany Plaza Mall in Farmingville. Police say a man also injured two people in a shooting on Christmas Eve.
These are just a few of the incidents that led Tierney to form a new "violent criminal enterprise" team.
"We want to dedicate a team of both prosecutors and investigators as the violence is happening in the street to respond to it immediately," Tierney says. "Start collecting evidence immediately and start marrying the violence that's happening on the street with gang conspiracy cases so we can prosecute these gang enterprises as quickly and effectively as possible."
Tierney tells News 12 a lot of the recent shots fired are linked to local gangs.
Victims right advocate Jennifer Harrison says local district attorney's hands are tied by current state laws involving prosecution of certain crimes and the setting of bail.
"What is the magic number of bodies that they need to reverse course and change their stance some of these progressive reforms like bail reform," Harrison, of Victim's Rights NY, says. "Something need to be done immediately to stop the bloodshed."