DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – After a violent week in Durham, the police department is planning to create a second specialized unit focused on the shootings in the city.
On Wednesday afternoon, Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews held a press conference after 13 people had been shot in Durham in the last week and five of those victims had been killed.
“The single acts of violence forever change lives, and we continue to think of those affected,” Andrews said.
The most recent shootings occurred on Tuesday night when police said there was a road rage incident on Alston near Holloway where someone on a scooter started shooting at a car.
The car crashed at the intersection of Juniper and Alston, a man inside died from his injuries, and a juvenile in the car suffered life threatening injuries.
Also on Tuesday night, police said a woman on Carver Street went to answer her door at her home when someone shot and killed her.
“At this point in time, we don’t know if this was a targeted event or if it was random,” Andrews said.
CBS 17 spoke with a friend of the woman who was killed on Carver Street. The friend did not want to be identified, but said that the victim was a mother and she was shocked to hear this happened.
“She was a very happy person, a beautiful person inside and outside,” she said. “I think what happened to her was unfair. I feel angry. Whoever did this, I pray justice is served.”
Andrews also gave updates on other recent shootings, as she said the two survivors in the triple shooting at the Circle K on Woodcroft Parkway on Saturday night had a gang affiliation and 61 rounds were fired.
Andrews added that the deadly shooting in the 3000 block of Auto Drive on Saturday morning was in retaliation of an earlier event, but that shooting was not gang related.
And the chief said the deadly shooting on Avon Lake Drive on Thursday afternoon involved a person in crisis. Andrews said that the woman who was killed in this shooting was the fiancé of the other person who was shot.
“Three rifles and five handguns, along with an assortment of ammunition were seized: from the residence there,” Andrews said.
Andrews said that while Durham police have had a specialized unit focused on violent crime in the city since September 2020, she said they are going to have to do more as there have been 16 homicides this year, which is up from the nine that had occurred this time last year.
“Despite their tireless work, we realize that this effort alone is not enough,” Andrews said.
The department is now creating a second specialized unit focused on violent crime.
“During the next 90 days, Durham police officers will work with crime analysis, and intelligence units to focus on areas that have been affected by gun violence,” Andrews said.
Andrews said they will work with both local and federal partners to address this problem and it will also include assisting the community with quality-of-life issues.
However, Andrews said the Durham Police Department cannot do this alone.
“From our community members, we need tips, we need information,” Andrews said. “It is extremely frustrating to myself, to our staff, and our investigators when we have shootings, and no one saw anything and no one wants to cooperate. You want the police department to do something, but you also have to be willing to take that step to cooperate with our investigators and offer the information that we need.”
Anyone with information about any of the recent shootings are 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.