Task force hopes to put end to ongoing gun battle in Sanford

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SANFORD, Fla. - A new task force is hoping to put an end to a battle between two rival groups in Seminole County, and they hope to do it before an innocent bystander is hit by a flying bullet.

Residents in Sanford said that on some streets you see and hear shootings. They said that homes in the neighborhood have been hit by bullets.

An unmarked deputy's car was hit by a barrage of bullets last fall.

A spate of shootings since October has residents in Goldsboro, and the east side of the city, afraid to walk the streets.

"They don't understand the consequences, that you might not get the person you're looking for, but an innocent child, mother or grandmother," said Kelly St. Pierre, who works in Sanford.
 
In an effort to stem the violence, authorities have formed a six-man task force to put the squeeze on the triggermen.

"Anything the police can do to get the crime off the streets is a good thing for the community and business owners," said St. Pierre.

"The task force is welcome. We need more law enforcement on the street and in the neighborhoods," said area resident Will Holton.

Sanford police said that they believe the recent shootings are linked to a deadly gun battle dating back a decade.

They said a double homicide in 2002 still has two opposing street factions looking for revenge.

Some of those involved have been released from prison and are back on the streets, according to investigators.

Sheriff's deputies and Sanford police said they have collected a mountain of evidence and are working toward prosecuting those involved in the shootings.

Police said they hope it will be enough to build a case to put the gunmen away and restore peace to part of the city very soon.