DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Thursday night Durham police responded to a mass shooting in front of a convenience store near Holloway Street and North Briggs Avenue.
Two males were killed and another male and a female were injured in the shooting that happened around 9:30 p.m.
Authorities are still investigating what led up to the shooting and who fired the shots, but they said the shooting was not random and the involved people who knew each other. No charges have been filed at this time.
This is the second mass shooting in Durham in less than a month, as five people were injured in a drive-by shooting on Fayetteville Street near the intersection of Linwood Avenue on May 27. There is no word if there have been any arrests in that case.
The latest data from Durham police shows that there have been 352 shooting incidents this year, 106 people have been shot, and 17 of those people have died.
Shooting incidents are down from last year where there were 386 shootings this time last year, but the number of people shot is about the same as 108 who had been shot this time last year.
However, homicides are up as this time last year 11 people had been shot and killed.
CBS 17 reached out to Durham Mayor Steve Schewel on Friday to see what steps will be taken to address the problem with gun violence in the city.
“This is a big problem, it’s a national problem, and a lot of it is not something that we in Durham have total control over,” Schewel said.
He said that Durham has good policing and that stricter gun laws are needed to prevent gun violence.
“We’re either going to get a handle on that or we’re not going to be able to stop the gun violence,” Schewel said.
Sheryl Smith is a community activist in Durham who said she thinks that city leaders need to step up and do more to address the gun violence in the city.
“I’m thinking Lord, not again, what’s going on with our city?” Smith said. “Every time when you interview the mayor, he gives us that same story, I mean nothing new. The crime is getting worse.”
Smith said she would like to see more police enforcement and for police to start checkpoints.
“I want to see more police officers in the communities out on the streets, and let them start their roadblocks back,” Smith said. “If that’s going to help them solve some of these crimes, and make arrests in some of these murders, let them do it.”
One thing the city is doing to try to prevent gun violence, is they are spending $935,488 to expand Durham County’s Bull City United Violence Interrupter Program.
County leaders said five more violence interrupters and two more outreach workers were recently hired and started working Wednesday. This brings their total staff to 11 people.
The violence interrupters and outreach workers have ties to some of these troubled communities in Durham and when they hear about tension rising, they go work as mediators and try to prevent shootings.
“The thing is, you’ll never see when we stop a shooting, but you’ll always see when a shooting happens,” said David Johnson a supervisor with Bull City United. “We stop shootings 24/7, we’re on call 24/7 stopping shootings.”
Johnson said they get calls on nearly a daily basis about issues in the community and the expansion will allow them to branch out to the Oxford Manor and Cornwallis Road communities.
The violence interrupters already work in McDougald Terrace and part of the southside community.
“More boots on the ground, are more people you have to help you with issues,” Johnson said.
There are still 11 vacant positions that need to be filled and county leaders said the goal is to fill them by the end of fiscal year 2022.