Calls for action in wake of 9-year-old’s shooting death in Durham

Durham County News

Zion Person

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police are searching for the suspects who fired multiple shots at a car, killing one child and injuring another.

According to police, 9-year-old Zion Person was riding in a vehicle driven by his aunt near Duke and Leon streets in Durham Sunday night when suspects in a burgundy Honda Accord started firing shots at the vehicle Person was in.

Person was shot and died later at the hospital. City officials said his 8-year-old cousin was shot in the arm but is expected to survive.

Investigators said they do not think this was a random act.

Sheriff Clarence Birkhead released a statement in the wake of the shooting:

“Today, we learned about a terrible tragedy in our own back yard. I was saddened to see gun violence cut short the life of a 9-year-old boy and severely injure an 8-year-old child, right here in Durham.

“As Durham County Sheriff and on behalf of the men and women representing our Office, sincere condolences go to the families of both victims. Less than two weeks ago, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office celebrated National Night Out Against Crime. Right before meeting with community groups and neighbors county-wide, I talked about anti-gun violence; in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that marred the first weekend of August.”

Sheriff Clarence Birkhead

Sam Rose lives near the intersection and she said she heard the shots that were fired.

“We heard what was probably 10 to 12 gunshots,” Rose said. “I think it’s overwhelming to think that there were children involved in any of this, I think that gun violence is senseless and unnecessary.”

City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton told CBS 17 he plans to call for action at Monday night’s city council meeting and ask that more be done to prevent future shootings like this.

“I’m going to be ramping up my calls for certain initiatives and interventions that I have been talking about for years in the city to my colleagues,” Middleton said. “Zion’s name should be echoing in this city today and echoing in this chamber.”

Middleton also said that Person’s family is expected to attend Monday night’s meeting.

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