Charleston Mayor Jones reacts to recent West Side violence

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After the fourth murder on the West Side in less than three weeks occurred last week, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones commented on the string of violence.

He said the Charleston Police Department had been very efficient in solving the cases

“Over Christmas, one of which stretched into the New Year, in six days we had three murders. In eight days, we arrested all three,” Jones said.

Jones said the key to avoiding being the victim of violent crimes is to stay out of involvement in drugs.

“I would say that if you’re not involved in drugs or the drug business, there’s little chance this is going to affect your life. But it doesn’t look good,” the mayor said.

Jones pointed out that several of the murders had been perpetrated by people who were not from Charleston, citing an incident last year in which two men threw another out of a window and killed him at Vista View Apartments. All three were from Detroit.

“They weren’t here to go to the FestivALL,” Jones joked dryly. “The bad news is you can rehab (low income housing) and make them look as good as you want. But when you get these external forces coming in here, and they decide they want to sell drugs and use this as their market, they have no conscience. They’re basically sociopaths, and they’re gonna shoot people over $120.”

Jones commended both the police department and city prosecutors for their good work in the wake of recent violence.

“I give the police department a lot of credit; to Lt. (Steve Cooper) and (Police Chief) Brent Webster,” he said. “All the police department and all the detective bureau. Maryclaire Akers and Chuck Miller are over at the prosecutors office were knocking these things out almost as soon as they happen.”

The most recent shooting death on the West Side occurred last Thursday, when 23-year-old Dimitrius Malone allegedly shot 22-year-old Nate Chaney in the head several times outside Littlepage Terrace Apartments shortly after noon.