84% of nearly 400 shooting incidents in 1st half of 2021 unsolved in Durham, police say

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – From bullets flying into kids’ bedrooms while they sleep, to people getting shot while driving down the road, shootings in Durham are occurring on a regular basis. Most of the shootings are unsolved.

The latest data from Durham police show that 114 people have been shot so far this year in the city. That is the same amount of people who had been shot up to this point in 2020. Last year was a record-breaking year for shooting incidents in Durham.

Durham city officials previously told CBS 17 that COVID-19 was to blame for last year’s spike in gun violence. This year, some officials have said that a lot of the violent crime in the city is linked to gang activity.

Some shootings this year have impacted innocent people. Stray bullets have struck multiple homes and at least two children have been shot while in their beds sleeping this year. Both of those children suffered minor injuries.

In addition, CBS 17 recently reported on people getting shot while driving. An innocent man was shot and killed while at a bus stop near Dearborn Drive and Martin Street on May 12.

Data released by Durham police on Wednesday morning showed that 64 of the 392 shooting incidents that have occurred through June 26 have been solved. This means 84 percent of these incidents are unsolved.

The data also showed that six of the 22 homicides that have occurred in the city through June 26 have been solved. This means 73 percent of the homicides this year have not been solved.

Karen Wells’ 15-year-old son Ian Wells was shot and killed while he was at the BP gas station on South Alston Avenue near the Durham Freeway in early April.

“I honestly don’t know what happened, why someone would want to take his life,” Wells said.

When CBS 17 asked Wells what her reaction was to Durham’s clearance rate for shootings and homicides, she questioned what’s being done to solve these crimes.

“What is our law enforcement and our judicial system, what are they doing?” Wells said. “What are our lawmakers doing?”

Wells said it’s been three months since her son was shot and killed. She’s still waiting for an arrest to be made.

While she waits, she has concerns that her son’s killer could harm someone else.

“How many more people does gun violence have to affect negatively, for something very stringent to happen?” Wells said.

While 27 percent of the homicides have been solved, the FBI’s average solve rate for a city the size of Durham is 51.5 percent.

Wells argues there should be more police presence in certain neighborhoods, that there should be harsher penalties for juveniles when they commit crimes, that there should be more programs for young people to keep them on the right track, and that there needs to be stricter gun laws in the state.

“If the lawmakers don’t start stepping up and put in some very strict laws against gun violence, it’s only going to continue,” Wells said.

CBS 17 reached out to Durham Police for an interview about this year’s clearance rates for shooting incidents, but we are still waiting to hear back.

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