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Montgomery’s former Coroner diagnoses city’s ‘out of control’ crime situation in email to local official

Dr. David Thrasher, a former Montgomery County coroner, who also advised the city on public health issues during the pandemic, sent out a mass email directed at Mayor Steven Reed’s chief of staff. He shared a volume of perspective and information about what he views as another public health threat: Crime.

Thrasher said Montgomery has already had 27 homicides recorded in 2024, and the related symptoms of increased crime rates is taking a toll on local emergency medical services.

“For every one homicide there are seven gunshot wounds or stabbings that occur. We are seeing many young people, many teenagers and children shot or killed. We have only three trauma surgeons in Montgomery,” Thrasher wrote. “They are great, and we are very fortunate, but they are overwhelmed. A fourth trauma surgeon who relieves them on occasion was pinned down by gunfire at a local restaurant a couple weeks ago. We do not know if he will return.”

“The first three months of this year we have treated 103 shooting victims in our emergency room. Sometimes the trauma doctors and ER doctors get two or three gunshots at one time basically shutting down the emergency room for other citizens with illnesses such as heart attacks and pneumonia, etc. The wait in the ER is extremely long and last week we had 60 patients in the ER waiting for beds.”

RELATED: Montgomery ice cream shop robbed twice in two months

Beyond homicides, other forms of crime are also surging, Thrasher argued. “Robberies are out of control and frequently never worked or even reported because of lack of manpower, specifically detectives in the MPD,” he wrote. “19 cars were burglarized in one night, scaring two potential doctors away!”

Thrasher concluded with a series of suggested action items for city officials and a plea for fellow concerned citizens to hold them accountable.

“I have supported Mayor Steven Reed since I was Coroner and he was probate judge,” he wrote. “Nevertheless if your administration doesn’t step up and start doing its job, I will be your loudest critic.”

Three of the homicides occurred earlier this week at a Hispanic-owned grocery store. Acting Montgomery Police Chief John Hall identified the victims as George Elijah Jr., 50, Daniel Lopez, 20, and Romero Lopez, 43. Each had been shot.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed addressed the media at a press conference the day after the shootings.

“People working their jobs in their community, trying to make it day-to-day, week-to-week should not be preyed upon,” said Reed. “And that’s what we had last night.”

“We’re not going to stand for people to be hunted because people think they’re an easy target or they’re easy prey. It’s easy being the hunter, it’s different when you’re being hunted and that’s what they are being right now.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on X @ShipleyAusten

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