West Memphis police encounter ‘switch’ accessory on weapons

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - West Memphis police have encountered a new weapon accessory in the city’s eighth homicide this year.

One person has been arrested and police are still searching for others. It comes as local law enforcement is facing a growing concern over a new weapon accessory.

West Memphis Police say they’ve seen the so-called “switch” accessory used on a firearm twice in the past six months.

The tool is small, but it has a major impact in turning a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic one.

As a family grieves the loss of their loved one, West Memphis police say they’re noticing a nationwide trend with a deadly impact.

“If I’m not mistaken, adding a Glock Switch to that firearm... can go through 30 rounds in just over two seconds,” West Memphis Police Captain Mose Walker said.

West Memphis police say Christian Hammock was shot to death at the corner of West Broadway and South Avalon early Sunday morning.

Police say one of the suspects, 18-year-old Caleb Moten, had a Glock firearm on him equipped with Glock Switch when he was taken into custody.

“It’s becoming more and more prevalent nationwide,” Walker said. “It’s a real problem. Our federal counterparts are doing what they can to address it [and] it’s becoming more and more of a problem here locally... Memphis Police Department deals with it all the time, it was just a matter of time before it crept its way into our jurisdiction.”

Officers say these small devices are easily accessible but illegal.

“Well, it changes the rate of fire of the weapon. It goes from semi-automatic to full auto with just a simple accessory that you put on the end of the gun, changing the rate of fire,” West Memphis Assistant Police Chief Brent Bradley said. “So, you go from one trigger pull to shooting one bullet, to it shooting as long as you hold the trigger down until the magazine’s empty.”

Moten now faces charges including capital murder, terroristic threat, and two counts of aggravated assault. He could also face additional federal charges.

“We’re not immune, this is a national trend, violent crime. It’s unfortunately on the rise... no different than any other jurisdiction in the country,” Walker said.

While their officers are working to solve this problem, more help is soon on the way with a $1.7 million grant that will bolster the number of officers on staff for three years.

“This grant will afford us the opportunity to adequately staff our ranks, fully staff our community engagement unit, add additional officer school resource program, and place more officers on the streets to answer calls for service,” West Memphis Chief Robbin Campbell said.

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