Local News

Shooting Statistics Say a Lot About Fayetteville

Posted August 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A few years ago, Fayetteville was dubbed one of the most dangerous areas in the country. Since then, crime has taken a downward track. But, many agree there's still a long way to go, and the city shooting statistics show that.

Seven dispatchers at a time handle emergency calls for Fayetteville. They often hear from people dialing 911 to report gunfire. Over the course of a year, there were more than 100 reported shootings with victims.

There were over 1200 reports of shots fired, many into the air and some into homes. Darren Hanna was sleeping last week, when a bullet smashed through his window, flew over his bed, and went through a wall. He thinks it was a stray bullet, perhaps fired from a nearby street.

The whole thing makes Hanna more angry than anything. He says there's nothing to be scared about, since he believe's last week's shooting was probably an isolated incident.

Maurice Drake works at a Skibo Road gas station, where one of the pumps took a bullet last month. Drake says the area has become a weekend hangout for hundreds of people after the bars close.

"Being a night manager, I'm accustomed to knowing there's a possibility something might happen," Drake says. "But, to know that it's a constant threat on a particular evening because of a particular event, it's got to be a matter of concern."

Precolar McNeill lost a son to murder three weeks ago. Kit Reeves died after being shot several times. Family members found him in his Jeep. His mother has managed to hold herself together, except for the time she bolted out of the house.

Given all the shooting calls, police say the city is extremely lucky its murder rate has not gone through the roof. For the first six months of this year, there were only three murders in the city.