Albany police: More arrests coming in violent crime wave

July 13, 2018 05:40 PM

ALBANY - An arrest is made in Albany after a spike of recent crime in the city. Police have arrested Zai-John Vanhoesen in connection with a shooting on July 4. That was one of three separate shootings that night that left six people injured.

Also that night, a man was stabbed to death.


Then on July 8, Elijah Cancer was fatally shot while trying to break up a fight. Another man was also shot in the incident.

Two days later, the vice president of the Albany Police Union wrote a scathing Facebook post, making accusations about the department and putting heavy blame on Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan for policy changes and a lack of officers.

Acting Police Chief Robert Sears responded saying the department is doing the best they can.

The department has not been shy about saying they are short staffed and need more resources. However, the department says there are 25 to 30 officers on the streets at all times.

In addition to the arrests, they've taken several handguns off the street this week.

With the recent spike in violence, police say now more than ever people here in the city need to practice the "See Something, Say Something" rule.

There have been 13 shootings in the last 10 days in Albany and arrests have come from a combination of tips from residents and diligent officers.

Police say when they initially approached Zai-John Vanhoesen -- the man now charged in the July 4 shooting on Central Avenue and Lark Street, he was smoking marijuana on a front porch. They say Vanhoesen tried to get away and resisted arrest. It was during their investigation into that incident they found out he was involved in the shooting.

Officers understand the frustrations and concerns people have in the community for their safety and want to reassure everyone more arrests will be made.

"These cases take time and people need to understand that," explained Albany Police Spokesman Steve Smith. "You want to make sure we have it right. The last thing we want to do is put a case in court and then have it be dismissed or the person found not guilty on some technicality or something like that. So we want to make sure we have our ducks in a row and a lot of that has to do with cooperation."

Police are hopeful these arrests will send a message to criminals that they mean business.


Jacquie Slater / WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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