BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — In the wake of two deadly shootings in the Beckley area and as he awaited updates on an ongoing investigation into multiple Saturday night shootings on Sheridan Avenue, Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold said the killings seemed to be targeted and not random.

He pledged support for Beckley Police Department, as officers respond to a growing threat of drugs, warring groups and firearms in the city, according to Rappold.

The mayor said on Sunday, April 23, 2032, that “youngsters” who have “no regard for human life” are accessing guns and firing at one another to solve grudges in city neighborhoods.

He said the local police department patrols neighborhoods and responds to reports of violent crimes quickly. On Saturday night, Rappold said, BPD officers had responded within two minutes of receiving a 911 call.

“If, because of the total disrespect for human life that some of these young people have and feel that they have power in their hands when they’re holding a firearm, the day that one of our officers is hit, wounded, or God forbid, killed by someone of that nature, it will really be a sad day,” said Rappold. “And I hope to g-d, and I pray, that will never happen.”

Beckley Police Department employs a high number of graduates of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Rappold.

BPD Deputy Chief David Allard was a driving force behind the formation of the Police Training Academy at Fairmont State University, an academic program which offers physical training and also provides instruction on civil rights of the public.