’43 lives is a lot to lose’: 2021 becomes Durham’s deadliest year on record

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – This year has officially been the deadliest year in Durham, as 43 people have been murdered so far this year in the city.

Before this year, 2016 was the deadliest year on record with 42 homicides.

In the last eight days, eight people have been shot in five different shootings in Durham — four of those people have died, including a juvenile.

On Friday night, police said three males were shot near the intersection of Drew Street and N Hyde Park Avenue in Durham. One of those individuals, a juvenile male, died from his injuries. The other two were seriously hurt.

Neighbors said they heard between 20 to 30 gunshots and dozens of evidence markers could be seen on the road as police investigated.

People who live on Drew Street said they are concerned about the recent shootings, and said they did not know that this was Durham’s deadliest year on record.

“That concerns me a lot,” said Jose Moreno, who lives on Drew Street. “Maybe they’ve got to step up their game and get better at capturing people.”

CBS 17 has attempted to speak with Durham’s new police chief Chief Patrice Andrews multiple times over the last week, but she has been unavailable for an interview.

“Forty-three lives is a lot to lose, each of those individuals contributed something to our community,” said DeDreana Freeman, Durham City Councilor for Ward 1.

Freeman said she has been having conversations with those in touch with the gang communities in Durham in hopes of better understanding what’s behind the recent shootings.

“I think we’ve got to listen to the youth and the people who have been involved in these types of incidents,” Freeman said.

Freeman said more money needs to be put toward organizations in the community that are working toward helping young people.

“It’s really going to come down to the people who are the shooters, we have to find out what it is they’re trying to get across,” Freeman said. “Whatever is missing, we have to figure out how to bring that aspect into what we are doing in the city.”

CBS 17 has also reported on Bull City United’s Violence Interrupter Program that has recently expanded and allowed them to conduct 275 mediations within three months to prevent gun violence in McDougald Terrace, Oxford Manor, Cornwallis Road, and near Fayetteville Street and Umstead Street.

The county still needs to hire 13 more individuals so they can expand to Franklin Village and Edgemont Elms.

Mayor Steve Schewel told CBS 17 he would be discussing the recent gun violence during his opening remarks at Monday night’s city council meeting.

The latest data from Durham Police show there have been 674 shooting incidents, 230 people have been shot, and 35 of those have been shot and killed.

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