Saturday Shooting Investigation Continues; Area was filled with people at the time

Riverton Police Chief Eric Murphy told the city council Tuesday night that the investigation is continuing into the shooting and wounding of two individuals in the wee hours last Saturday morning. The 3:20 a.m. shooting occurred in the alley between the Loaf ‘n Jug and the Roomers Motel. Murphy said in all of the interviews conducted so far, the thing that stood out to him was the number of people out on the street at that time. He said there were probably 100 people out in the vicinity when the shooting happened. Still, no new leads have been developed at this time. 

Murphy said the two who were shot are now recovering in a hospital out of the county. 

Residents of the area where the shooting occurred appeared at the city council meeting asking for help to set up a neighborhood watch program. Spokesman Greg Tallabas and several others said the quality of life in their neighborhood has been deteriorating and the shooting last Saturday was the low point. Tallabas said residents can’t enjoy their yards anylonger. “We want to do something to let people know that kind of behavior is not just welcome,” he said. Mayor Richard Gard and Chief Murphy pledged to help the neighborhood get a citizens watch started.

Neighborhood Resident Greg Tallabas asked the city for help in starting a neighborhood watch. photo by Ernie Over

In that regard, Councilor Kristy Sailsbury went to her tablet and provided information to Tallabas on the national Neighborhood Watch organization, how to get a local watch started and how to sustain it. Mayor Gard said he would participate in the group, and he offered city hall as a meeting location for the organizational and other meetings of the group. Tallabas thanked the mayor, the council and Chief Murphy for what they had been doing and for their help in the future. Murphy said “Absolutely” when quizzed by the Mayor if he’d help meet with the group.

Another resident of the area, Thomas Dyer, said such items as cameras would be helpful in identifying people up to no good in the neighborhood. Gard also suggested neighbors could help themselves by putting in motion detector lights that would turn on if someone was in their yard or passing by in the alley at night. 

Councilor Mike Bailey noted that people sometimes hesitate to call the police for whatever reason when they see something out of normal or threatening. “The police respond to calls, and if they aren’t called they can’t respond or know of something going on,” he said. “If you see something, call the police. That’s what they are there for.”