'State of emergency in our city': Durham leaders call for action after 9-year-old killed in shooting

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham city council members are calling for action in the wake of a 9-year-old's shooting death over the weekend.

RELATED: 9-year-old killed, 8-year-old injured in Durham shooting

Monday night, a visibly shaken Durham City Council met at its regularly scheduled meeting. Nine-year old Zion Person's shooting death was not on the agenda. But the senseless murder was on everyone's mind.

"I don't care that it's impossible. We should be doing everything in our power to make sure that the children of this community are safe," said Durham Ward 1 Council Member DeDreana Freeman, holding back tears. "I can not understand it. I refuse to accept it."

RELATED: Durham mayor calls 9-year-old boy's shooting death an 'unspeakable tragedy,' talks gun control

Freeman supported Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis budget request last spring for 18 addition officers. But, the request was ultimately denied by council.

Ward 2 Council Member Mark-Anthony Middleton urged the council to invest ShotSpotter technology that detects gunfire in neighborhoods to help police respond faster to crimes where neighbors have become desensitized or may be in fear of reporting it.

"It is a state of emergency in our city whether or not we declare it," Middleton said Monday. "There are hundreds of children in Durham every night that duck and cover because of gunfire. They're being trained to jump off their bikes and hide behind trash cans every night. We know (Zion's) name because he died."
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