NCCU chancellor asks city to increase patrols, implement ShotSpotter as gun violence worsens

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – After multiple shootings near North Carolina Central University’s campus in recent months, University officials are asking the city to do more to curb the violence.

Campus officials, students, and community members voiced their concerns about how the city’s problem with gun violence is now spilling over into their campus community.

“We are not completely able to control violence coming from the streets around our campus,” said Johnson Akinleye, chancellor for NCCU.

According to the recent stories CBS 17 has covered over the last six months, at least nine shootings where someone was injured happened less than a mile from Central’s campus.

On Sept. 19, a shooting occurred on Fayetteville Street near Lawson Street.

A stray bullet from that incident flew through Kenneccia Woolard’s dorm room window at Benjamin Ruffin Hall.

Woolard told CBS 17 on Wednesday she was working on a paper in her room when the bullet came through.

“I jumped to the floor because when that hole was busted in the window, I could still hear bullets,” Woolard said. “They were still shooting even after that bullet came through.”

On Thursday, she took her concerns to the city council and asked that they do something to stop the violence.

“I was just inches away from losing my life, and I don’t want this to happen to any other fellow Eagle on this campus,” Woolard said.

Some community members who live in the College Heights neighborhood near campus said they are also concerned for their safety.

College Heights resident Beverly Evans said that a bullet recently hit her vehicle at her home.

“We are all frightened by hearing these shots which have become more and more prevalent,” Evans said.

Akinleye made recommendations to the council on ways the University would like to see the city work to curb the recent gun violence.

He asked city to allow Durham police and NCCU police to share jurisdiction within a half-mile radius from campus.

The chancellor also called for increased patrols, speed bumps to be placed on Fayetteville Street, and for the city to move forward with the proposed six-month free trial of ShotSpotter technology.

In addition, he asked that Rev. Michael Page be selected to serve on the community safety and wellness task force, so that NCCU would have a voice when it comes to concerns with the recent violence.

“Doing nothing at all is not option,” Akinleye said. “I’m asking you to take this as an urgent call to action and we seek your support.”

Durham City Council will consider the chancellor’s recommendations and come back with a decision at a later date.

In the meantime, officials with Durham police said they have increased patrols around campus and the surrounding area.

DPD officials said they are continuing to have conversations with NCCU officials and community members about how they can work together to keep everyone safe.

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