Reality is gun violence seems to be on the rise

An editorial from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Barrows lives in the neighborhood where, according to witness reports and early stages of an investigation, Christopher Paul Johnson, also of Parkersburg, pointed a gun at police officers and advanced, ignoring orders to stop. Based on their knowledge of Johnson’s criminal history, and information they had received that he was not willing to be taken back to prison, officers fired their own weapons in self defense.

In the area of Plum Street, between 20th Street and Washington Avenue, residents are accustomed to a quiet existence.

“I’ve never actually heard gunshots going off before,” Barrows said. In fact, with the exception of area hunters, the same may be true for many.

But for Parkersburg police, the reality of the degree to which a criminal element and its accompanying violence has settled into our region has been apparent for some time. This incident was the second time this year officers have been forced to shoot a suspect who appeared to be bent on deadly harm.

“It’s unfortunate that it ended this way, but they did what they had to do (regarding this week’s incident),” said Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin. “And I support them 100 percent.”

Work days are getting tougher for our law enforcement officers. They need our help and support…

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