Local News

'State of emergency': Durham councilman responds to 4 shootings in 4 hours

Posted September 15, 2020 4:56 a.m. EDT
Updated September 15, 2020 9:37 a.m. EDT

After four separate shootings in Durham sent at least seven people to the hospital in less than four hours, a frustrated council member says Durham is not doing enough as a city to stop the violent cycle.

Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton said he continues to push for more action from the city to curb gun violence.

"Whether it’s declared or not, we’re in a defacto state of emergency in our city," Middleton said. "There is no zip code that exempts you or inoculates you from gun violence. I’ve said to my colleagues publicly and on record, I don’t think we’re doing enough as a city."

On Monday at 5 p.m., one person was shot at the intersection of Delano Street and Fidelity Drive. Then, three people were shot, including one person in the head, during a drive-by shooting around 6 p.m. on Fairview Street.

The third shooting, which was at the same location on Delano Street as the second shooting, happened just before 9 p.m. Two victims, a male and a female, had non life-threatening injuries.

Finally, a fourth victim checked into the hospital with gunshot wounds Monday night. On Sunday, people were shot in separate incidents at a Wendy's and a Cook Out.

To address the issue, Middleton said he has called for the city to expand its violence interruption model and asked to experiment with a shot spotter, which uses a microphone and GPS receiver to pick up on gunshots when they happen.

"Somebody has to explain to me why knowing precisely where gunfire is coming from in our streets is a threat to democracy," Middleton said. "Why is it a bad idea to be able to precisely pinpoint where gunfire is coming from in our streets? I don’t understand."

Middleton said it's time for everyone to take action.

"It starts with all of us having some humility and recognizing that no one group has the answer," he said. "All of us have a piece of the truth and a piece of the answer."

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