WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Data from the Wilmington Police Department shows gun-related crimes have spiked in the Port City.
Police received 686 calls of shots fired through Oct. 1, a 37 percent increase over the same time period last year.
The number of people injured by gunfire was up 19 percent. This year, 74 people were hurt compared to 62 in 2012, according to police data.
Serious crimes such as homicides and armed robberies are up 15 percent this year, according to a Wilmington Police Department presentation. Police said their intelligence indicates that gang violence is responsible for the increased crime.
Earlier this month, Wilmington City Council unanimously approved more than $142,000 for the police department to create a gang investigation unit. Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said the unit will dismantle gang networks with surveillance and investigations.
"We got to put up or shut up," Evangelous said after receiving the funding. "We got what we asked for and now we got to go do it."
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