Local News

Five men wounded in Durham shootings since Friday

Posted September 5, 2021 3:09 p.m. EDT
Updated September 6, 2021 6:34 p.m. EDT

— The holiday weekend has been a violent one in Durham, with five people seriously wounded in shootings across the city since Friday.

Three of the shootings happened within 24 hours of each other, and one occurred less than a block from the Durham Police Department headquarters.

Residents say gun violence in Durham is out of control.

“You know, I’m living proof. I lost my son to gun violence," Sheryl Smith said. "He was just walking home from school and killed in a drive-by, so this is why I continue to do what I do."

Smith is a community activist who is trying to get Durham leaders and residents to work on the problem.

“It’s heartbreaking because it can be prevented,” she said of the shootings.

Through Aug. 28, Durham had recorded 527 shootings, down about 15 percent from the same period a year ago. But the 29 shooting deaths so far this year is up 38 percent from 2020, according to to police statistics.

This weekend, the violence hit close to home for Smith again. Two men were wounded early Sunday in her apartment complex's parking lot, near the intersection of North Holman and Franklin streets.

"It's very disappointing," she said. "I mean, we’ve been doing this for the last two years, and there hasn’t been any change [or] any solutions."

People in her neighborhood don't leave their homes for days after shootings out of fear, she said.

Just 12 hours after that shooting, a man was shot while driving on Holloway Street.

Other shootings took place early Friday on Liberty Street and Saturday morning on Commerce Street.

There was no word Monday on any of the men's conditions or if any of the incidents were related.

With dozens of vacant positions in the Durham Police Department and the Smith said she believes fighting for more resources, funding and programs in the hardest-hit neighborhoods will make a difference.

“It’s time for all residents of Durham to come together with this gun violence," she said. "We have to stay together, if you want to change the city. I want to be safe."

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