'We have to address the symptoms': Chief speaks out after latest shooting death in York City

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

After a shooting took the life of a 19-year-old man late Tuesday night, York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow issued a call to "address the symptoms" of the gun violence that has taken many young lives this year. 

The death Tuesday was the 18th homicide to occur in York City since the beginning of the year and the 26th homicide in York County this year. 

Among the symptoms, Muldrow said, was the lack of resources, including a need for more officers on the street. The York City Police Department currently has 101 officers on its roster.

“We're out-manned and out-gunned!” he said in a statement Wednesday. "But even with all that said, we're still fighting."

York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow looks on as Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) speaks to media regarding the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at York City Hall in York City, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Muldrow also expressed his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones this year.

“No one should ever die at a young age. While we can explore and debate the underlying causes, the fact remains:  We have to address the symptoms (the Gun Violence, Gang Beefs and Crime) before we can deal with the [deeper] problems (Self-Destructiveness, Trauma, Poverty, and Generational Curses),” Muldrow said in the written statement.

He said that individuals seem to be more willing to take each other’s lives. 

More:Sen. Bob Casey hosts press conference discussing new gun safety legislation

More:Feds charge Dover Township man with dealing meth, making and selling guns

More:York City schools consider weapon-sniffing dog

“These groups clashing at a higher frequency, the beefs and motivations intensifying, and the actors all resorting to gun violence as their means to resolve everything” contribute to the violence, Muldrow stated. 

Combine that with the ease of access to high-capacity, high-volume semiautomatic weapons, and it leads to deadly consequences at an increasing rate, he said. 

York City Police are investigating the shooting Tuesday night that led to the death of the 19-year-old man. 

The shooting occurred just before midnight in the 500 block of West Market Street. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds. 

The victim was transported to WellSpan York Hospital, where he later died from his wounds. 

The York County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to the hospital, where deputy coroner Tania Zech certified the death. The victim was pronounced dead at 12:49 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy will be conducted later this week, the coroner’s office said in a report. 

Muldrow also stated that the justice system is struggling in trying to move from a punitive system to one that is more redemptive in nature, and it is difficult to find ways to balance human rights with public safety. 

“We're still thankful and committed to the strategies and the good work being done by our officers and community partners," he said. "And we're going to keep doing what we need to do to try to hold that line (and protect this community) until we get the resources we need to truly contend with those symptoms and the 'street level' challenges of this current climate.” 

Other resources Muldrow said are needed include community surveillance cameras. 

As those committing gun violence skew younger, Muldrow said conflict resolution and gun violence prevention education in school could also help stem the tide of violence. 

York City Police detectives are investigating the Tuesday night shooting. 

Anyone with information about the incident can submit a tip to police anonymously. They can do so through the Crimewatch app or at www.yorkcitypolice.com

Tips can also be sent via email to Detective Andy Baez at abaez@yorkcity.org; through the York City Police Tip Line at 717-849-2204; or by calling York City Police directly at 717-846-1234 or 717-849-2219.