VIDEO: Police Hunt Suspects in Dallas Strip Center Shooting

Suspects in surveillance footage | Image by DPD

Dallas police are asking for help identifying four men seen jumping out of a car and gunning down two individuals at a Pleasant Grove strip center shortly after Christmas.

The authorities have released footage of a shooting that occurred in Council Member Adam Bazaldua’s District 7 shortly after 9 a.m. on December 27 in a bid to identify the shooters. As Fernando Silva, a detective with the Dallas Police Department, explained, 22-year-old Jamarcus Irving appeared to have been the gunmen’s intended target, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

The motive was not disclosed by DPD, but Irving’s family referred to him fondly as having a “magnetic personality and infectious enthusiasm.”

Both he and 51-year-old Morland Smith, who had stopped to chat with the young man in front of the shop, were shot dead in the attack.

“Four suspects jumped out of the car, all four of them armed. They start targeting Jamarcus in the middle of the gunfire. Moreland is just real close by Jamarcus, so they both get struck with gunfire,” Silva said. “From all accounts, [Smith was an] innocent bystander, was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Stephanie Sharpe, Smith’s sister, spoke out against the indiscriminate violence shown by the suspects, who killed Smith while he was just trying to buy some breakfast.

“For me, it is still unreal,” Sharpe told NBC 5 DFW. “It’s been very difficult for me as a sister to lay my older brother down.”

A Crime Stoppers reward of $5,000 has been offered for information leading to the capture of these men. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-877-373-TIPS (8477) or online.

“Somebody knows something. That is somebody’s friend, that is somebody’s child. Somebody knows something,” Sharpe said.

Silva is also sure that someone can identify the suspects, noting that they all appear to be in their late teens or early 20s.

“Three of them were wearing dark clothing, and then one of the ones that’s wearing dark clothing has a very distinct hoodie sweatshirt with some stars on the shoulders and some lettering on the front part, but it’s black and white. The other one, the fourth one, is wearing all gray,” he said.

In Dallas, the murder rate rose by 15% last year compared to the year prior. So far in 2024, 12 criminal homicides had been logged as of January 24, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. The vast majority of these victims were either black or Hispanic males, and their median age was 25.5 years old.

Although DPD has been striving for years to curb violent crime, these efforts have been hampered by a significant staffing shortage. The department has only around 3,000 officers, whereas a City report recommends a force of 4,000 to ensure public safety in Dallas. Moreover, City officials have budgeted DPD just $654 million this fiscal year, which is considerably lower than the levels of spending on police seen in other high-crime municipalities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Downtown Dallas continues to see high crime rates compared to the downtown area of neighboring Fort Worth. Monthly comparative studies have shown that the former logs about seven times more reports than the latter, which is patrolled by a specialized neighborhood police unit working with private security guards.

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