Gov. Cooper proclaims Friday Gun Violence Awareness Day; families, law enforcement say more needs to be done

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gun violence hit close to home again this week with a Wake County Sheriff’s deputy seriously injured and three people killed in Fayetteville.

The governor made Friday, June 4 Gun Violence Awareness Day. He’s proposing a million dollars in his budget to help curb the epidemic.

“He’s not here physically and that’s the part that really hurts,” Sandra Person said.

It’s been almost two years since Z’yon Person, 9, was shot and killed in Durham. He was with his family, on the way to get snow cones at the time. Sandra was his grandmother and for her, it never gets easier.

“Everything he did he did it with pride, his heart. He tried his hardest. In school, being a football player. Being a brother, being a grandson,” Person said.

“He had not been 15 30 days,” Karen Wells said.

Wells’ son Ian was also shot and killed in Durham. It happened back in April of this year and there’s been no arrest.

“Disheartening to become one of the people that I see on the news, or I read about, or I hear about. It’s time for something to be done,” Wells’ said.

So what does law enforcement make of the governor’s initiative? CBS 17 spoke with Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker and Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead.

“It certainly is a step in the right direction, but I also think we need to look at our gun laws and permitting process and how easy it is for individuals to get weapons,” Birkhead said.

“These guns are ending up in the wrong hands. The person, the people who cannot lawfully obtain one through the process are waiting to break into cars, break into homes,” Baker said.

Baker had one of his deputies, Sergeant Ronald Waller seriously injured Wednesday. He was shot twice with an AK-47 while serving eviction papers.

“I wouldn’t have a problem with tougher restrictions to be able to own,” Baker said.

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