Detroit Gangs Linked to Violence on Charleston's West Side

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two shootings in one week in Charleston landed four men from Detroit behind bars.

The first shooting happened Wednesday afternoon on Glenwood Avenue. The second shooting happened just hours later and a few blocks away on 6th Street, where one teen was killed.

Parents picking up their students at West Side Elementary say this week has put them on edge.

They're watching out more than ever for their kids after a week of shootings in their neighborhood.

Parent Heather Thaxton said, "It does make me nervous and paranoid because you can't even let your kids go outside and play anymore."

The four men arrested this week don't call Charleston home. They're from more than 360 miles away. Police say they're from Detroit.

Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper said, "They're in a sect of the Bloods, known as the Seven Mile Bloods from Detroit." He says the connection between Detroit and Charleston is drugs. "They sell pills, heroin, cocaine, marijuana."

Police say the gangs pick Charleston for convenience.

The majority of the dealers are low-level in the gang and don't stay in town for more than a few months. Lt. Cooper says, "Their job is to go to whatever town or city they're dispatched to and just sell drugs."

This particular group is prone to violence, police said.

Lt. Cooper added, "If there's any left, a lot of times they'll leave the area because they don't like the attention and then a new group will come down and set up shop to sell drugs."

The U.S. Attorney's Office has also been looking into the violence in the area. They're continuing to work on their DMI project.

For more on the recent shootings, click on the link to the right.

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