FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said on Tuesday that the ShotSpotter technology that was installed in the Central Broward area in November is working, but there is a need for more witnesses to report shootings.
Since the gunshot detection system was deployed, Tony said there have been more than 200 ShotSpotter alerts in the area, but only six of the cases included a witness who called 911.
“ShotSpotter is a tool; it is not a witness,” Tony said. “ShotSpotter provides us with the potential that shooting is occurring, violence is happening and then we are responding, but we are not going to be successful in the apprehension, conviction of suspects without community participation.”
During the news conference, Tony credited the technology and a team of deputies from different units for the removal of drugs and weapons off the streets during two recent arrests in Central Broward.
The case involved deputies with the Broward Sheriff’s Office aviation unit, the district 5 crime suppression unit, and the Special Weapons And Tactics unit. It did not include any 911 calls.
The deputies’ presence quickly increased in the area after the ShotSpotter alert. Bryant Holland, 44, allegedly tried to hide two duffel bags on the roof of a house. Shawn Moses, 47, allegedly hid a gun.
Holland, of Fort Lauderdale, and Moses, of Lauderdale Lakes, did not know two deputies — Elier Vaguez and Oscar Gonzalez — were watching from above after responding to a ShotSpotter alert.
Vaguez, a pilot, and Gonzalez, a tactical flight officer, were helping to investigate a shooting at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. They had increased night vision from above.
ShotSpotter technology alerted deputies to seven rounds of gunfire in the 2500 block of Northwest 15th Court, according to a BSO report released on Monday by Carey Codd, a BSO spokesman.
Vaguez and Gonzalez first spotted Moses. They reported the suspected shooter ran, hid the handgun in the bushes, and ran to 2515 NW 15th Ct., in the Lake Aire - Palm View community. That’s where Holland allegedly tried to hide the large bags.
Sgt. Jason Zehler caught up to Moses and arrested him outside of the home. Detective Andrew Pollock and Zehler retrieved the bags from the roof and found more than 200 grams of powder cocaine, nearly 800 grams of cannabis, and a handgun, according to BSO.
Detectives later executed a search warrant and found more drugs and cash inside the home. Deputies also found the gun Moses was accused of hiding in the bushes and found it had been reported stolen out of Palm Beach County.
No one was injured in the shooting. Both Mose and Holland remained at the Broward County Jail on Tuesday.
Moses faces charges of grand theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Holland faces charges of trafficking cocaine, possession of cannabis with intent to sell, tampering with evidence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.