By: Sarah Snyder
ODESSA - Witnesses and neighbors in Odessa fear for their safety after a double murder in their neighborhood. For the past 24 hours, Odessa police have been working overtime trying to pinpoint who's behind the brazen attack.
The alleys on the 1400 block of South Anderson have been the focal point for an investigation that drew a huge crowd of neighbors from all over the community. Odessa Police say they're searching for the gunmen in a case, that's been a pretty unusual one.
"This is very unusual and why it's drawing such a crowd, I don't know," Cpl. Sherrie Carruth with the Odessa Police Department, said.
A double homicide and a slew of unanswered questions has not only police, but also southside residents trying to put together the pieces.
"We were at home and we heard some shots fired," Suzie Mireles, an Anderson St. Resident said. "It sounded like a high caliber gun."
So far here's what we know: three Hispanic men riding in a black Jeep Cherokee were shot at. Two died from their wounds, and the other has been treated and released from Medical Center Hospital. Officials sent the two bodies to Tarrant County for an autopsy, but still haven't released their identities.
"It was dark," Cpl. Carruth said. "And to keep from contaminating our crime scene, we needed the extra lights out there. And of course, the extra manpower was needed. It seemed like our whole police force was out there."
NewsWest 9 spoke with neighbors at the scene and they say their neighborhood has a history of criminal activity.
"Southside has a bad reputation as it is and I have lived on the Southside my whole life and I don't appreciate anything like this happening to be totally honest with you," Mireles said.
"I really believe all this Clements stuff, the drug activity, it all leads to the same thing: people hurting each other," Josie Castro, an Anderson St. neighbor, said.
NewsWest 9 spoke with one witness who lives two houses down from the scene of the crime. She heard the gunshots and went outside to see what was going on. She saw what happened and asked us to protect her identity.
"I was just back there in my yard," she said. "I heard somebody screaming then I heard people getting in the car and they left. I don't think it's safe here anymore. I'm going to leave, that's for sure because what if they come back?"
But Odessa police tell NewsWest 9, this problem isn't just on the southside.
"We have crime happening all over the area," Cpl. Carruth said. "The thing that's interesting is that a lot of people think there's more crime on the Southside of town. You're seeing a lot of it come from the East and North side of town."
Investigators have spent the past 24 hours combing the neighborhood looking for answers.
"How tight those houses are, that's not random," Cpl. Carruth said. "Why they decided to chose that area, what happened, that's part of what this investigation is going to try to find out."