Durham leaders, community members search for answers to gun violence

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Durham leaders, community members search for answers to gun violence
Police in Durham are still working to find the people responsible for the latest act of violence that sent five people to the hospital. Two were injured seriously, including a child.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Police in Durham are working to find the people responsible for the latest act of violence that sent five people to the hospital. Two were injured seriously, including a child.

Now city leaders and people in the community are speaking to ABC11 about the toll the violence is having on the city.

Mayor Pro Tempore Mark Anthony Middleton says the shooting was a devastating way to start 2023 and wants business owners in that shopping center to know the city feels the impacts of gun violence as well, but when it comes to possibility of increased patrols he says the lack of officers will not change anytime soon.

"There's really no zip code that's been exempt from gunfire in our city. And we just don't have enough police officers to station them in every area all the time," Middleton said.

Shop owner, Sam Elahi, cleaned up the blood stain in front of his store on Monday and said enough is enough.

"We're not feeling safe in here. We're losing business you know? I don't know what I can do," Elahi said.

Social justice activist, Kerwin Pittman, sits on the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity and Criminal Justice. He agrees the violence Durham and other Triangle communities are experiencing is not unique, but the approach to addressing it may need to be.

"If I had positive mentorship in my life when I was a youth, I definitely wouldn't have went in the course and direction that I went in, but also (if I) just (had) economic infrastructure to make adequate living, wages for living, I definitely wouldn't have went in the route that I went in," he said.

He added due to the increase in youth gun violence across the state the task force is taking a closer look at youth crime reduction as early as this month.