DURHAM, N.C. – Gerald Robinson said his 17-year-old grandson was home with his family at McDougald Terrace on Feb. 6 when someone came to the apartment and shot his grandson five times in broad daylight.
His grandson survived the shooting and is still in the hospital.
“He’s a miracle. It could have been worse,” Robinson said.
But Robinson said his grandson’s voice box has been fractured and right now he still cannot talk.
“My grandson may never talk again. This matters,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he’s still not sure what caused the shooting and he said its had a big impact on their family.
“I’ve lost sleep. I’m not eating. Shootings impact the whole family,” Robinson said. “You’re not just destroying the person you tried to kill, but you are also killing the family at the same time.”
Robinson’s family is not alone, as there have been 80 shootings since the beginning of 2022, and 23 people have been shot. Last year at this time, there had been 83 shooting incidents and 18 people had been shot, which means gunshot wounds are up this year.
The most recent shooting victim was a teen boy shot during an altercation outside of a gas station across from Hillside High School about 12:30 p.m. on Monday.
The boy ran into the gas station to take cover and multiple bullets flew into the store, with one even grazing the store owner.
Hillside High School students said they were there when this happened and ran when they heard the gunfire.
“All I heard was six shots go off and a whole lot of people ran,” said Cameron Johnson, a Hillside High School student. “I knew I had a to get low, I’m not going to be a victim.”
So what is the city of Durham doing to address the problem with gun violence?
The last time Mayor Elaine O’Neal spoke about the problem with gun violence was at a press conference on Dec. 13 after two teens were shot and killed and four other youths were injured while riding in a stolen vehicle at 3 a.m. on Mathison Street.
During the press conference, O’Neal called on people in the community to commit to spending 2 ½ to 5 hours a week to doing community service and mentoring youth in the community.
O’Neal also talked about creating a plan to address the problem with gun violence.
Since the press conference, there have been 124 more shooting incidents and 42 more people have been shot.
Several of the victims shot so far this year have been juveniles, including a 13-year-old boy struck by a stray bullet while in bed at Bentwood Park Apartments on Feb. 2.
CBS 17 attempted to speak with O’Neal over the phone and through email on Tuesday to talk with her about the plan and what her response is to the recent shootings, but she did not respond.
Durham Mayor Pro Tem Mark Anthony Middleton did speak with CBS 17 on Tuesday and said that he would like to see the city do more to address the problem with gun violence.
“It’s time to put everything on the table,” Middleton said.
CBS 17 asked Middleton if there is any immediate action that can be taken to address this issue.
“The immediate action is those who are working in our community with young people and those folks who are doing mentoring,” Middleton said.
Middleton said that this Thursday and Friday, Durham City Council members will begin their budget discussions where they’ll look at what police need to better fight violent crime, how the city can spend their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for community programs, and he said he plans to bring up trying ShotSpotter. ShotSpotter is a gun detection technology that automatically sends officers to the scene of shootings.
“We know this is going to be a multi-faceted approach to gun violence,” Middleton said.
Middleton added that Mayor O’Neal has been doing work behind the scenes with individuals involved with some of the gun violence to try to prevent future shootings.