A tip from the public has led to the arrest of a suspect wanted for allegedly randomly opening fire on people in Arlington.
Kelechi Ezugwu was detained by Arlington police on October 26 outside a Fitness Connection one day after a public plea by authorities for help finding the suspect in two separate random shootings was issued.
As Tim Ciesco, who handles media relations for the Arlington Police Department, explained to Fox 4 KDFW, the 29-year-old’s arrest was made possible after a citizen called in with a tip.
“We wanted to make sure that we got this guy off the streets as quickly as possible,” said Ciesco.
According to police, Ezugwu was believed to have been involved in two separate shooting incidents, the first on the evening of September 27 and the second on the morning of October 25.
The first occurred in a parking lot in the 1100 block of W. Arbook Boulevard. Ezugwu allegedly pulled in with a white 2012 Honda Civic, exited his vehicle, and began to approach a man who had just entered their own parked car. As the man began to drive away, Ezugwu allegedly opened fire on his vehicle.
In the second incident, another man had just entered his car outside a gym located in the 900 block of W. Arbrook Boulevard when Ezugwu allegedly approached wielding a gun. He reportedly opened fire as the man drove away.
In both incidents, neither victim was hurt.
“They did not have any connections to this individual. Both of those shootings appear to be random,” explained Ciesco.
For residents in the area, the attacks were jarring.
“It is an eye opener to … check my doors and watch my surroundings and everything,” resident Jade Hess told Fox 4.
Ezugwu faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; however, he was deemed mentally unwell after his arrest and transferred to a psychiatric facility.
Random shootings are often the most difficult to solve due to the lack of a clear motive.
A similar but fatal shooting spree occurred near Fair Park in Dallas on September 25, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. The gunman, later identified as Jeremiah Moore, 27, allegedly beat on the door of a townhouse and opened fire on Savannah Rodriguez, 19, when she answered it. Rodriguez was killed. Her mother and boyfriend were wounded.
Moore then allegedly drove to a nearby self-service car wash, where he reportedly shot and wounded another man. Facing three counts of aggravated assault and one count of murder, Moore was located and arrested later that same day in the Texas Panhandle.
Murders across Dallas are up, logging a 14.1% year-over-year increase, with 211 murders and non-negligent homicides clocked year-to-date, according to the City of Dallas crime overview dashboard.
The Dallas Police Department has struggled to respond to the rising murder rate as well as other types of crime — such as auto theft and drug offenses — due to staffing woes. Although a City analysis recommended a ratio of three officers for every 1,000 residents, putting an ideal staffing level at roughly 4,000 officers, the department maintains a force of fewer than 3,200 sworn personnel.
The effects of the staffing shortfall are apparent in Downtown Dallas, which logs significantly higher crime rates compared to Fort Worth’s downtown area. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a designated neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards.