Exclusive: Bristol Police Chief Provides Update on Wood St. Shooting Investigation
The announced arrest of Jason Ford, on charges of attempted homicide, robbery and related offenses for an alleged shooting on Thanksgiving eve last year, has led Bristol Borough residents to ask why no arrest (s) have been made by authorities for the Wood Street shooting that occurred last month.
An unknown gunman fired a number of rounds down the 200 block of Wood St.The shots missed bystanders and struck a residence several times. A bullet, also landed at the feet of a child, and shattered a second floor window at the Bristol Fire Company No. 51 hundreds of feet away, police said.
Chief of Police Steve Henry in response to a number of questions from the publication provided some answers for residents. Henry confirmed what sources in the community have alleged since the incident in terms of cooperation.
“We are not receiving cooperation from who we believe was the intended target,” he said.
Henry went on to further clarify the difficulty in making an arrest even with the amount of evidence collected from the scene, which includes a tan SUV, a cell phone found on the street said to have been dropped by the vehicle’s driver fleeing the area and video surveillance footage.
“In order to make an arrest we must have sufficient probable cause. That means (sic) we must meet the standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court to make an arrest. We work very closely with the District Attorney’s Office in determining when we have sufficient probable cause,” the police chief said.
Subsequent to the shooting, an image of a person of interest was released to the media by investigators, leading a number of community based sources who asked to remain anonymous, to report they recognized the individual sought. That information has yet to be confirmed or denied by investigators. Moreover those same sources said the tan SUV impounded by authorities is actually owned by a family member of the individual police want to speak with.
Public outcry and want for more information on investigative progress lead Mayor Joe Saxton to comment on the process at the October council meeting.
“I want to reach out to the people of Wood Street to say that you’re not forgotten. We are actively investigating and we appreciate the cooperation of our residents while we investigate this cowardly act,” he said.
That however, has yet to calm the nerves of residents who have feared the incident was “gang related.”
“You have to be pretty reckless to start taking shots at people only feet away from the front entrance of the Police Department in the middle of the day. That’s what’s really concerning to me” one resident who asked to remain anonymous said.
A second resident who lives within the radius of the shooting said “I added more cameras to my security system. I’m not exactly feeling safe at the moment and I’m going to do all I can to protect myself and loved ones” .
Henry said anyone with information about the incident or person of interest could submit a tip anonymously to the department’s Crimewatch Page by clicking the link or contacting Detective Bill Davis at 215-788-7813 ext 2425.