Durham residents urge city, county leaders to reduce gun violence after homes hit


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Neighbors fed up with hearing gunshots near their homes say they want city and county leaders to work with them to get the situation under control.

Durham City Council is scheduled to receive a petition from neighbors in the Swann’s Mill community at a meeting on Thursday.

Dozens of neighbors have signed it, urging the city and county to form a task force with neighbors and to enforce a “gunfire free zone” in the area outside the neighborhood that extends into Durham County.

“It’s really frequent around the neighborhood. We hear it a lot,” said Malaysia Davis, whose family has lived in the neighborhood in Northeast Durham for about a year.

The petition neighbors submitted to the city says the gunfire appears to be happening on property just outside the neighborhood, which is in the county.

“On at least two instances residences have been struck by bullets from this activity. In addition to the risk to human life, there is also the danger of physical property damage, property value and the general well-being of the community,” the petition reads.

Christian Allen said she’s lived in the neighborhood with her mother on and off for about seven years.

“It’s frightening really because I want to come out at night. But, I don’t come out anymore. I just stay in my room,” said Allen. “We hear gunshots, but it’s to the point we don’t even bother to call the cops anymore.”

In a letter, Durham Police Capt. Jermain Jackson notes the department has discussed the issue with neighbors as well as with the sheriff’s office.

Capt. Jackson writes that “…these two agencies work together on a regular basis, and that records show there has been ongoing collaboration between both agencies in an attempt to resolve the ‘shots fired’ concerns in the Swann’s Mill community.”

The sheriff’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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