Henderson city leaders reach out to NC gov. after string of shootings

HENDERSON, NC (WTVD) -- Henderson city leaders have reached out to the North Carolina governor for assistance after a string of deadly shootings in their city.

"I reached out to (the Governor's Office), and asking for the resources and manpower by the way of a task force or any other organizations that the state can do, we hope that this will bring an end to it," Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington said.

The most recent shooting left a 23-year-old man dead Tuesday night.

"We're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior," said Ellington.

23-year-old man dead, another person injured in Henderson shooting

It happened around 11 p.m. in the 400 block of Merriman Street.

Officers responding to the area found a vehicle that had been shot. Two people were injured in the shooting.

Darrion Richardson, 23, died from his injuries. The second victim is being treated at a hospital.

The Henderson Police Department is working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Deadly shootings are becoming far too common in the Vance County town.

Just this year, there have been at least five homicide cases in Henderson.

"It's too much of it. Wish we didn't have it. Makes a lot of people edgy," said Pastor Gene Wood, who's been with Calvary Baptist Church for 22 years.

During that time, he's worked with Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers.

"We're a good community. There's some good folks here. There's some good, hard-working people here," Wood said.

It's what made this latest string of violent shootings so difficult.

"There has been much discussion about this - putting an end to the violence that's here. We don't want our children to grow up in that atmosphere," said Wood.

Ellington said the police department is understaffed, with 13 openings - more than 20 percent of what would be considered full-staff.

In response to the shootings, faith leaders will march in Henderson on April 7, calling for greater community engagement to try to curb the violence.

Anyone with information about this latest crime is asked to contact the Henderson Police Department at (252) 438-4141, Crime Stoppers at (252) 492-1925, or use the P3 app on a smartphone or tablet device.
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