DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s the sight of flashing lights and a road blocked for several hours that first caught the attention of Durham neighbors living along E. Main Street on Tuesday night.
“I came outside and I heard somebody got shot. Three people,” said Octavius Inges.
Durham residents said he’s lived near the downtown area for four years and expressed concerns after learning police responded to gunshots not far from his home. Officers discovered three men with gunshot wounds. They were rushed to the hospital.
“It’s just sad because it’s unnecessary violence, you know, you have to do more to clean up these neighborhoods,” said Inges.
Inges, who lives about a block away from the Durham Police Headquarters, said ongoing violence is the reason some families are asking more from their city leaders.
“We all just need to come together and try to get along. We say we’re intelligent beings, but we do the most atrocious things.” Inges added, “I think city hall, the mayor, everybody needs to get together and see what can be done, not just in this area, but all areas like this.”
Durham Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton said he and others were notified of the gunfire while at a victory celebration for Durham’s new Mayor Elect Leo Williams, located just five minutes away.
“This new mayor coming in, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t talk to him about this issue of gun violence. I know it’s going to be top of mind for him even within his first 100 days,” said Middleton.
The city council member said city leaders have noticed a trend of more brazen activity involving younger victims and perpetrators. Middleton said it’s a reminder that work still needs to be done.
“We’ve had gunfire erupt in our mall, in front of the courthouse, down the street from our police headquarters, in our public housing complexes. Whenever gunfire goes off anywhere in our city, it’s a situation that needs to be addressed and something that should have all our attention,” Middleton said.
Following election night, Middleton said gun violence will remain a key focus for current and new council members going forward. He believes the solution starts with looking into root-cause initiatives including police capabilities, youth programs, and increasing funding for violence interrupter groups including Bull City United.
Middleton added, “This has to be one of the top-of-mind issues for our government and for our city. It doesn’t matter how tall our buildings get, it doesn’t matter what list we make for being the top this or that. The greatest measure of our city will not be the heights of our buildings, it will be how safe our most vulnerable residents are.”
Durham police said they were notified of the initial gunshots in the 900 block of E. Main Street by ShotSpotter. Two victims were located in the 1100 block of E. Main Street and a third was found in the 900 block of Dale Street. All three men are expected to be okay and don’t have life-threatening injuries.
Officers said the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.
Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.