Local News

Residents speak out: 'Henderson is no longer safe'

Posted February 26, 2013

— Hundreds of Henderson residents packed into the auditorium at E.M. Rollins Elementary School Tuesday night to voice concerns about a number of violent crimes in the city in recent weeks.

Children and teens delivered perhaps the most potent messages of the meeting.

"I feel very frightened to go outside, just to play outside on a beautiful day," said Noah Snowden.

"Henderson is no longer safe," Trin Terry added.

Jada Kingsberry said she doesn't feel safe at school.

"There are a lot of gang members," she said. "I wonder if one day, would I get stabbed or shot."

Sarah Lewis was one of the first people to shuffle into the community crime meeting, which was planned in December to address schools and safety. A recent rash of murders, rapes and carjackings, however, changed the focus.

"Why aren't people talking? What is going on with the neighborhoods?" she asked.

Sarah Lewis Violent crime in Henderson sparks public outcry

Lewis' nephew and the mother of his baby were killed earlier this month in a motel shooting.

Edward Hawkins, 26, was charged Tuesday afternoon in their deaths.

"You took two parents away from their kids, and I have nieces and nephews growing up now without parents," she said. 

Pastor Myron Henderson said there's a sense of paranoia in the community and called on city leaders to take immediate action.

"Talking is simply not enough," he said.

Neither Henderson Police Chief Keith Sidwell nor Vance County Sheriff Peter White addressed the community, though they both attended the meeting.

White said he didn't think it was his place to speak. 

144 Comments

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  • the EX Mar 4, 3:05 p.m.

    Batman himself couldn't save Henderson.

  • catwoman2 Feb 28, 8:23 a.m.

    "If the Henderson Police nor the Sheriff Dept can do anything about this, then request the help of the SBI, FBI, whoever so these people will be safe."

    Are you reading the papers there? The SBI and ATF have ALREADY been working with law enforcement there. The police department arrested three people in the last week for the homicides. There have been NO more carjacking/sexual assaults since 02/15 other than one unrelated incident that was connected to an event in the county. There have been NO MORE incidents reported in Henderson or Vance County since then of sexual assaults other than ya'll going crazy on facebook and sites like this. The hysteria right now only seems to be benefiting "activists" like Mr. Brian Hargrove and the concealled carry instructors. WRAL has done a great job with mucking up this. -Relic

    Relic - as long as something has or is being done, then that is great.

  • Brogden Feb 27, 7:25 p.m.

    Henderson was once a wonderful town - sad to see this happen

  • Southern Girl Feb 27, 5:49 p.m.

    Relic, I believe your information is wrong.

  • free2bme Feb 27, 5:37 p.m.

    Womble_Fred
    Why blame everything on President Obama? Take some responsibility yourself. We had problems long before President Obama was in office. We all need to work with enforcement, report criminal activity, keep an eye out for our neighbor- to help make communities safer.

  • Relic Feb 27, 5:16 p.m.

    "Pastor Myron Henderson said there's a sense of paranoia in the community and called on city leaders to take immediate action. "Talking is simply not enough," he said."

    I read this again. What exactly does "Pastor" Henderson want the leaders to do? From the papers there the Police and Sheriff's Department are working with the SBI and ATF on a lot of felony cases. Arrests have been made. More will probably come. Other than telling the public what's going on, having law enforcement patrol and make arrests, etc. and talk about safety WHAT "action" does the good "Pastor" think should be taken? I keep seeing in stories on Henderson and Fayetteville folks talking about "action" but nobody ever says what that is?

  • grnpnd7 Feb 27, 5:12 p.m.

    It wasn't safe 30 years ago when a convenient store clerk was shot and killed. He was married with four children.

  • Relic Feb 27, 4:51 p.m.

    "If the Henderson Police nor the Sheriff Dept can do anything about this, then request the help of the SBI, FBI, whoever so these people will be safe."

    Are you reading the papers there? The SBI and ATF have ALREADY been working with law enforcement there. The police department arrested three people in the last week for the homicides. There have been NO more carjacking/sexual assaults since 02/15 other than one unrelated incident that was connected to an event in the county. There have been NO MORE incidents reported in Henderson or Vance County since then of sexual assaults other than ya'll going crazy on facebook and sites like this. The hysteria right now only seems to be benefiting "activists" like Mr. Brian Hargrove and the concealled carry instructors. WRAL has done a great job with mucking up this.

  • Relic Feb 27, 4:45 p.m.

    Does anyone know if there's anything for these kids to do in Henderson? Other than joining a gang?

    In an article just before all this hysteria their paper pointed out several efforts in the area. They talked about the boys and girls club, school and church afterschool programs, etc. I've been through there and there's a bowling alley, skating rink, movie theater, arcades, several parks, etc. They certainly seem to have much more to do there than other towns like Warrenton, Norlina, Oxford and Roxboro from what I've seen.

  • Relic Feb 27, 4:42 p.m.

    Way to go, WRAL. Thanks for publishing only part of the story and not admitting your articles misled people in Henderson. According to the local paper there the meeting was scheduled long before all these recent incidents by the Vance County Schools as a way for the children to have their input on public safety. The Chief and Sheriff did not speak because it was not their meeting, it was the school system's and they apparently didn't want a mob scene of hysteria. No Q&A session was held because the School System didn't schedule it that way. One person, a Mr. "Brian Hargrove" (who apparently is not a school employee) kept coming on WRAL and pushing this meeting as a "community forum" on recent events. Have you published that the Police Department has made arrests in all three deaths since 2/14? Have you pointed out that other than an unrelated incident there have been no more carjackings or sexual assaults since around 2/14?

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