DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – While overall shooting incidents were down in Durham in 2021, the number of deadly shootings rose sharply, according to preliminary data from the Durham Police Department.
The year saw 795 shooting incidents reported to police. That was down from 971 in 2020 — a decrease of about 18 percent — but still higher than the 649 reported in 2019. The data also showed that the number of people shot dropped from 318 in 2020 to 280 in 2021.
However, 45 of those shootings were fatal. That represents an increase of more than 36 percent from the 33 deadly shootings in each of the two previous years, according to the preliminary data.
Durham closed out 2021 and began the new year with a rash of shootings in which six people — including two teenagers — were shot in the span of a few hours. One of the shootings saw a 73-year-old woman killed by celebratory gunfire, police said.
Last year also saw a rise in juveniles shot and killed in the city.
The increase in fatal shootings coincided with a shortfall in staffing at the Durham 911 call center. As of the end of December, almost half of the call taker positions were vacant, which was roughly the same as it was a year prior.