Shots fired into 4 Burlington homes

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- In a 12-hour period, police said four homes in Burlington were shot into. That means this week alone contributed more than a third of the city's shooting into houses this year.

Burlington Asst. Chief of Police Chris Verdeck said the first shootings happened next door to each other on Foster Street around 7:30 Wednesday night. They continued -- one on North Anthony Street and one on Fulton Street, ending at 7:30 in the morning Thursday.

Verdeck said police believe at least three of the shootings are related and believe all are being committed by teenagers. He explained that it's a cycle -- each shooting in retaliation of the other."

"It starts snowballing," he said. "And once the bullets leave that gun, you can't take that back."

Verdeck said police believe three of the four houses hit were targeted because of the people who live inside. The fourth, he said, was likely mistakenly targeted.

"We don't want anyone to die," Verdeck said. "There's good people living in these neighborhoods that don't need to be around shots being fired into other people's houses. And on occasion, they hit innocent victim's houses."

Verdeck said multiple shots were fired at each house, likely by multiple weapons. At one of the houses, he said police found more than 20 shell casings on the ground.

These crimes can be difficult to solve, Verdeck added, because sometimes people don't promptly call police.

"The shooting on Foster Street around midnight," Verdeck said, "We didn't get a call on that until 7:30 [Thursday] morning."

He added the victims in the latest shootings are not being cooperative, which is further hindering the investigation.

A home on Stokes Street was also shot into Monday morning, making five shootings into homes in Burlington this week. Verdeck said so far in 2016, there have been 13 shootings into homes in Burlington.

Verdeck said police are discussing increasing patrols during evening hours and possibly moving shift schedules so that officers work later into the night.

No injuries were reported in any of the shootings.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Burlington Police Department at (336) 229-3500 or Alamance County CrimeStoppers at (336) 229-7100.

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