Tuesday, February 09, 1999

Covington shooting suspect sought

Police say incident was drug-related

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Police have a suspect in Saturday's shooting of a Florence man, and they say he's well known to them for his history of arrests.

        The shooting took place about 8:30 p.m. at 13th and Greenup streets, an area of Covington known for drug trafficking. Police learned of the shooting a few minutes later when officers on an unrelated traffic detail in Wallace Woods were flagged down by a passenger in a pickup truck. The passenger told them the truck's driver had been shot.

        Robert K. Hammons Jr., 39, of Marys Court in Florence, was shot in the back. He had been out of the truck at the time of the shooting, then got back in and drove away, said Lt. Col. Bill Dorsey, department spokesman.

        The truck made it to 20th and Scott streets, where the passenger alerted the officers. Mr. Hammons was taken from there to St. Elizabeth Medical Center's north unit in Covington. He was later transferred to University Hospital in Cin cinnati, where he underwent surgery. He was listed in fair condition Monday.

        “We are investigating this as a drug-related shooting,” Lt. Col. Dorsey said.

        A warrant was issued for the suspect, a Covington man. Police would not identify him until he is arrested.

        The area where the shooting occurred is a frustrating spot for authorities. Two units of the Covington department work in the area on various details, as do special units of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force.

        “We're making arrests,” Lt. Col. Dorsey said. “What we have to do is make the drug trade not lucrative. And how do we do that?”


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