Community seeks concrete change following continued violence in Durham

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — People in Durham say they’re tired of the violence and want to see concrete change after a string of shootings in the city.

Employees at Tobacco Shop 98 are in the process of switching to bulletproof glass following a drive-by shooting at their business Sunday night. It’s the third shooting at the convenience store.

The video showed people ducking for cover and running. One man was shot in the neck while a woman was grazed on the leg, both are expected to be OK.

“It was very terrifying. It’s something you see in the movies but not something that’s supposed to happen to you,” said an anonymous witness grazed on the leg.

A triple shooting was also caught on camera on Fairview Street. The footage showed a group taking cover behind a car and then helping the shooting victims into a car and to the hospital. One person remains in critical condition tonight in that shooting.

These are two of 14 Durham shootings that have happened in September.

“Our children are being trained like soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq to duck and cover, jump in bathtubs or showers but they shouldn’t have to do that. That video illustrates and underscores precisely why I think we need to treat this issue as if we’re in a state of emergency,” said Durham City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton.

Middleton says the city will soon receive a report about how to possibly expand the violence interrupters program. The group works to deescalate tensions and prevent future shootings.

He’s also working to bring ShotSpotter — a gunshot detection system to the city.

Community activists say it’s going to take a team effort to get the crime to stop.

“It’s going to take the community to save the community, just like they used to say it takes a village to raise a child,” said Robert Belcher, a Durham community activist.

The Durham Police Department says it is increasing the visibility of officers in high impact areas in hopes of providing a faster response to shootings.

DPD released this statement to CBS 17:

The Durham Police Department has recently developed new initiatives to focus on violent crimes. As a proactive and preventive measure, one initiative provides increased visibility of officers weekly in the most impacted areas. This also provides a faster response to gun-related calls for service. Officers assigned to this initiative can be deployed throughout the city as needed. The department’s recently centralized Violent Crime Task Force will focus specifically on shooting cases. The task force investigators will work closely with other investigators from the Intelligence Unit, Gang Unit, patrol officers, and other DPD employees to gather information to identify emerging trends and suspects. Partnering with our community to stop gun violence is an important aspect of our work to be successful. We value and appreciate the assistance of citizens willing to provide critical information, which can help prevent and solve shooting incidents. CrimeStoppers provides a way to share information while remaining anonymous. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and there are CrimeStoppers operators who speak Spanish.

Durham Police Department

If you have any information about these shootings you’re asked to contact police.

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