Local News

Shootings on the rise in Raleigh during coronavirus pandemic

Posted December 1, 2020 5:28 a.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2020 5:19 p.m. EST

— A 17-year-old was shot in southeast Raleigh on Tuesday.

According to the Raleigh Police Department, the teenager was shot before 4 a.m. in the 2400 block Little John Road, close to Dacian Road Park.

Officials said he suffered non-life threatening injuries and that an investigation is underway.

It was the second shooting in that general area in three days. On Saturday afternoon, police investigated a report of shots fired on Cooper Drive, near Worthdale Park, about a mile to the east.

For people who have lived in the area for decades, crime is something new.

"We don't ever have mess over here. It would be surprising to hear that," said Bernice Whitley. "We just don't have a lot of riff-raff around here."

"That was a shock. I knew it was gunfire. There was no guessing. I was like, ‘That was gunfire,’" added Mimi Wallace.

Wallace is a new homeowner who said she woke up in the middle of the night to sounds of gunfire just down the road -- something she never expected.

"This is actually the friendliest neighborhood I've ever moved into. I have met almost everybody on this block. They have all come out here and helped me," described Wallace.

Wallace said she was sad to hear a teenager was shot.

"It's so sad. It makes you wonder what happened, what led up to that. Very scary," she added.

A national study of violent crime in 28 U.S. cities including Raleigh reveals that homicides are up 34% for September and October over the same time period last year. Assaults are up 11% over last year.

In Raleigh, there were 69 shootings between March and October, compared to 51 shootings during the same time period last year. Shootings in Raleigh were even higher over the summer -- up 42%.

Job loss, stress and isolation are believed to be factors in the increasing crime.

"A lot of idle time and frustration can lead to a lot of different things for sure," said Wallace.

The crime increase during the pandemic has surprised a lot of people, but those who live on Little John Road said they won't allow fear to shatter the peacefulness of their community.

"I still feel safe here. I still feel safe in this neighborhood," said Wallace. "I wonder what led up to that. I hope it was an anomaly."

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