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Gunshots break up potential gang clash

Investigators have few clues about a clash in White City Sunday night in which a group of teens threatened to beat two boys with a baseball bat. The group dispersed after the boys' father fired a shot into the air, Jackson County Sheriff's Department Lt. Rich Fogarty said.

The threats were reported about 11 p.m. Sunday. Initial reports said the group was looking for a pair of brothers who lived on Avenue H and planned to harm them. No one was injured.

However, when deputies responded, no one would provide them with any information about the incident, Fogarty said.

Several clashes believed to be gang-related have erupted in the White City area recently, but those suspected of involvement refuse to cooperate with police, he said.

"If we have no victims or no witnesses willing to come forward, there's not much we can do," he said.

Fogarty said that young people involved in fights and threats over the weekend have claimed affiliation with Norteño or Sureño gangs or others have pointed to possible gang links.

Authorities take suspected gang violence seriously and said they will do whatever they can to remove suspected gang members from the streets, but they need help from the public.

Officials worry that violence could escalate.

Fogarty noted that responding to threats with gunfire is potentially dangerous, too, and could harm bystanders.