WPD searches for suspects in deadly gang-related shooting - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

WPD searches for suspects in deadly gang-related shooting

Police say there were multiple victims. (Source: WECT) Police say there were multiple victims. (Source: WECT)

The Wilmington Police Department held a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the latest developments in connection to the deadly shooting at 11th and Castle streets Sunday morning.

According to officials, Shot Spotter technology alerted police to the area at 11:40 a.m. after multiple gunshots were detected.

Shane Simpson, 16, was killed in the drive-by shooting. 

One of Shane's friends immediately called 9-1-1 after the shooting. 

Friend of victim: "I don't think he's breathing..."

Dispatcher: "Are the officers out there?"

Friend of victim: "Hurry up, quick!"

Dispatcher: "Do you see the officers out there?"

Friend of victim: "Yes!"

He was found lying on the ground when police got to the scene.

Three other teenage boys were found with gunshot wounds at the scene. Officers then located another teenage boy with a gunshot wound that had left the scene before law enforcement arrived. The teens were aged 15, 15, 16 and 17.

According to Captain Jim Varrone, the four teenagers were treated and released from the hospital.

Police believe Simpson and the four other teens were shot after a dark colored sedan drove by the corner and fired multiple shots.

Varrone says investigators believe two other shootings that happened a short time later on Clay Street and South 17th Street were connected and all were gang-related. He added that most of the victims from the initial shooting are validated gang members or have gang affiliations. 

Varrone declined to say which gangs were believed to be involved, but did say police are looking for more than one suspect and charges are pending.

Chief Ralph Evangelous said the community needs to step up to prevent gang violence. Evangelous said family and friends of gang members have a responsibility to come forward with information before more violence crimes happen.

Evangelous also said current methods like ankle bracelets are not effective.

"Our job is to protect society and ankle bracelets are not protecting society," Evangelous explained. "I can tell you that right now, and tell your legislators that. Some people need to be incarcerated. They’re a danger to society. We put ankle bracelets on them and that’s going to solve all our problems – well, folks it is not." 

Representative Susi Hamilton agreed.

“I take to heart what he says that if they’re not being effective, they’re not working for the use in which they were intended to be used then something else has to be done," Hamilton said.

Anyone with information on this shooting are asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or text your info to Text-A-Tip.

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