Durham community rattled as police investigating 5 shootings in a week, the lastest deadly

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham police Monday morning responded to the city’s fifth shooting in the last week. This latest incident was a deadly shooting in south Durham.

Officers found a man shot and killed inside a vehicle on Kirby Street near Harrington Place just after 7 a.m.

The windows of the car appeared to be shot out and multiple evidence markers could be seen around the vehicle.

Police have not yet released the name of the person, what might have led to the shooting, or if they have any suspect information.

Anita Brake lives in the neighborhood and she said she’s never heard gunfire in her community before.

“It kind of frightened me, this kind of thing doesn’t happen in this neighborhood,” Brake said.

Monday’s victim is the fifth person shot in Durham in the last week.

On Saturday at 1:42 a.m., police posted on Twitter a man had been shot in the 1100 block of Ridgeway Avenue. He was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

On Saturday just after 8 p.m., police said a man was shot while walking near the intersection of South Elm Street and Dale Street. He was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

On Sunday around 1 a.m., a driver was shot when leaving a Family Fare gas station on South Alston Avenue near the Durham Freeway. That victim was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

On Wednesday of last week, a bullet flew into a 13-year-old girl’s bedroom and struck her in the thigh. The teen was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.

“I think it’s heartbreaking each and every time,” said DeDreana Freeman, a Durham City Council member from Ward 1. “I think the shootings this weekend are showing us what we’re going to see this summer.”

Freeman came out to the homicide scene Monday morning after some of her concerned constituents called her.

CBS 17 asked Freeman what the city plans to do to address the recent gun violence.

“I know right now we’re working towards building up the Bull City United model so that there will be more violence interrupters in our community,” Freeman said.

But it has been more than two months since Durham City Council voted to hire 18 more workers to expand the Bull City United program that would put six more “violence interrupters” and six more outreach workers in certain communities.

Those workers would have connections to the groups behind the recent shootings and their job would be to work to prevent future shootings.

City officials tell CBS 17 that it will be late spring or early summer before those hires are made and ready to hit the streets.

The Durham City Council is also working to get the green light on a $500,000 grant to launch a universal basic income program to address poverty, which some say is one of the root causes of the violence.

But Durham City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton said the earliest the basic income program would be launched would be October.

CBS 17 pressed Middleton to find out what the city is doing right now to address the problem with gun violence.

“Durham is doing what a conscientious city will do when gunfire goes off,” Middleton said. “If we’re called, we will respond, we will investigate. We will seek to make arrests and we will seek to provide evidence for prosecution, but beyond that, there are some things we just cannot do as a government.”

The latest data CBS 17 has been able to obtain from police shows that 89 percent of the shootings in 2020 were unsolved.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, some city council members plan to talk about the recent gun violence and what needs to be done to address it.

CBS 17 reached out to Durham police for a comment on the recent spike in crime what is being done to address it, but we are still waiting to hear back.

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