Durham shooting renews debate on Shotspotter, investigations are taking longer

Saturday, March 30, 2024
Durham shooting renews debate on Shotspotter
According to Durham Mayor Leo Williams, the loss of the ShotSpotter technology is being felt by both police and the community.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Police in Durham are investigating after two teens were injured in a shooting Thursday night.

The Durham Police Department (DPD) got a call about two 13-year-old shooting victims who were at the hospital and not where the shooting reportedly happened--near the intersection of Ridgeway Avenue and Lakeland Street

The teens did not have life-threatening injuries, according to Durham police.

The shooting has renewed the debate about the Shotspotter technology. Durham City Council voted in early March to end their contract for the controversial gunshot detection technology.

As a result, investigations are taking longer, according to Durham Mayor Leo Williams. Williams tells ABC11 that the loss of the ShotSpotter technology is being felt by both police and the community.

"Since we lost ShotSpotter, there have been additional steps added to the investigation. We've been a little slow to get information," he said. "We're not Chicago. We are Durham."

"It pisses me off when I have resources taken away from me that can help me better respond to the needs we have here at the local level."

It's a concern that people living in McDougald Terrace like Tracey Smith, 51, lives with. He grew up in that community.

"They need to keep it because it's dangerous. People just shoot guns to shoot guns and it's sad because you never know where that bullet is going to land," said Smith.

Mark Anthony Middleton, the mayor pro tem, said he and the mayor are bringing together a network of people who can help prevent these senseless shootings from happening with early intervention.

"We got to do better," Middleton said. "As I said earlier, we're finding our victims are getting younger, these are children firing weapons, these are children getting shot...when children get into stuff like this, we can't point our fingers at the children."

He continued: "This is about us. This is an indictment and an editorial on us -- as parents, and as leaders, whether it be government or community leaders. Hopefully, it's a wake-up call."

Durham has invested in and supported programs, such as the violence interrupters, hoping it can help.

The area where this incident happened was once a part of the coverage plan for Shot Spotter which the city got rid of earlier this month.

ALSO SEE: Man shot, killed inside house in Durham: Police

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