Raleigh, N.C. — Residents of the historic Oakwood community near downtown Raleigh say they're shocked by this week's violent home invasion in which a man was shot defending his wife from a sexual assault.
At a community crime meeting Thursday evening, which was planned before Monday's attack, neighbors said they're looking out for one another.
"These events have really startled people. I've heard neighbors who are frightened in their homes and are worried about their safety and the safety of their kids," said Michael Buerkel-Hunn. "We want to look at each other across the street and take care of each other and make sure everybody is OK. I hope that our spirit of community will rise above these shocking events."
At a prayer vigil Wednesday night, many residents said they've never seen this type of violent crime in their close-knit community.
"In 20 years, I've never seen anything like this," Greg Lewbart said Wednesday.
Buerkel-Hunn said living in a downtown neighborhood comes with some crime risk, but that the community is struggling to cope with their fear in the wake of Monday's shooting and assault.
"Oakwood has been a close neighborhood for a long time," he said Thursday. "I think it's a place where we're comfortable with risk, but also value close community."
He added that events like Wednesday's vigil have helped bring people together.
"I think that really helped the community feel cared for, and it brought everybody out to sort of talk about our fears and worries," Buerkel-Hunn said.
Two brothers – 26-year-old Jahaad Tariem Allah Marshall and 16-year-old Shabar Master Marshall – face a slew of charges in the home invasion, as well as a Dec. 11 break-in on Dorety Place in east Raleigh in which the victim was held at gunpoint.