The City of Dubuque saw a sharp decline in the number of shots fired with criminal intent in 2023, with police crediting department investment as well as community outreach as a result of the new data.

Cumulatively speaking, a total of seven cases of shots fired with criminal intent were reported in 2023, per Telegraph Herald. That is the lowest number of instances since 2018, and the second-lowest in the past decade. Of those cases, five people were injured, and two died from their injuries.

Photo Credit: Dubuque Police + ThinkStock
Photo Credit: Dubuque Police + ThinkStock

Dubuque Police Department Lt. Brendan Welsh commented on the sharp decline in shots fired instances across the city:

This is our lowest number in five years [....] We attribute that to this culture that we hope we are creating that says that this department and this community does not condone gun violence. [....] These numbers don’t happen by accident. As a community, we’re investing in law enforcement, investing in technology (such as traffic cameras) and making it known that we won’t stand for these kinds of offenses. - per Telegraph Herald

While each of the seven cases in 2023 involved at least one weapon being fired with criminal intent (confirmed by either physical evidence or corroborating witnesses), the figure does not include instances of accidental discharge nor suicide. The year-end total was nearly a 50% decline. In 2022, there were 13 incidents of shots fired with criminal intent. There were 21 incidents in 2021.

Photo Credit: Felipe Caparras Cruz
Photo Credit: Felipe Caparras Cruz

Lonnie E. Burns, 31, of Dubuque, was the first instance in 2023. Burns was shot and killed on February 7th outside his home in the 700 block of Rhomberg Avenue. The shooting resulted in five murder charges. Court documents revealed that individuals were at Burns’ residence to rob him of drugs and money. Five people were charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, the second fatal shooting of the year involved Allen Taylor, 36, of Dubuque. Taylor was shot and killed in early July in the 2500 block of Broadway Street, with three others injured. Police haven't arrested anyone in connection with Taylor's death, which Welsh attributed to a lack of cooperation from witnesses.

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For more information on the City of Dubuque posting a sharp decline in shots fired incidents, visit the Telegraph Herald's website.

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