DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — People in the Durham community are rattled after multiple people have been shot in the last two days.
Durham police confirm five people have been shot in different shootings that have occurred in the Bull City over the last two days. Three of those individuals have died.
According to data from the Durham Police Department, there have been 320 aggravated assaults involving firearms since January 2020. This is almost double the number of incidents the Bull City saw this time in 2018, as there had been 170 reported aggravated assaults involving firearms from January 1, 2018, to August 8, 2018.
The recent violence is what a lot of concerned citizens in the Bull City are talking about.
At Rival’s barbershop on Mangum Street in Durham, people told me something that needs to be done to address the issue.
“It’s very heartbreaking as I look at and hear about the different murders and the drive-by shootings,” JT Tate, a resident of Durham.
Nate Davis, a local pastor, and resident of Durham said that we need to get to the root cause of the problem in order to prevent future shootings.
“It impacts so many families and it turns out to be not just one situation, but a cycle of behavior that’s passed on,” Davis said.
Mayor Steve Schewel said while COVID-19 and unemployment may be two contributing factors to the rise in shootings, he said these aren’t the only things to blame.
“We’re seeing guns in the hands of so many people, and its the fact that drugs and gangs are part of the reality of this gun violence,” Schewel said.
Schewel said Durham police are focusing efforts on a small group of people they think are linked to the recent shootings.
In addition, the city is implementing a community safety task force that will look at policing alternatives.
“For example, instead of getting a police response to a mental health crisis, you might get a trained mental health professional out there to be able to help,” Schewel said.
Schewel said this will free up more officers to respond to the violent crime in the city.
“It needs to stop,” Schewel said. “There is no magic solution, it’s just community cooperation, good policing, and then there’s getting the guns off the street.”
Schewel also said that community cooperation is also important. He said many times people are too scared to come forward because they fear they will be retaliated against.
“We really need people to come forward,” Schewel said. “People can come forward anonymously if they want. It’s so important for people who are witnesses of gun violence to come forward and talk to our police or else we’re not going be able to solve all these crimes.”
If you have any information about the recent shootings, call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.
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