Family of 20-year-old shot and killed wants changes in community
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The family of a 20-year-old shot and killed on South 11th Street Wednesday want changes in the area, like more outlets for young people to keep kids off the streets.
A spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department said Sayvor Almondre Cromartie was killed just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. Cromartie’s family said he had just accepted a job with TRU Colors Brewing Company, a company that hires gang members. According to police, Cromartie was a validated gang member.
“He was a young man and he was exposed to all of the vulnerabilities that young men are exposed to on a day to day basis. We have all passed through that phase. Could we have supported him more? I’m sure, but it’s not our job to smother him and not allow him to prosper and grow," Cromartie’s uncle Aundrey Johnson said. “He has always been around individuals who needed help and he has always extended help. Even as a small child, he had a compassionate heart, and I have no doubt that this is what led to some of this situation."
Johnson said he wants the city to offer more outlets in the southside of Wilmington for young people, like recreation centers. One of those outlets they want more of is Communities in Schools, a nonprofit that helps at risk students. Cromartie was part of the program for years, trying to get a step up.
Cromartie was just steps away from the nonprofit’s building when he was shot.
“We need things here in the community that would allow individuals here to prosper and grow so that they don’t have to look for other outlets outside of those safe outlets that are provided to them,” Johnson said.
Johnson and Cromartie’s grandfather, Alphonso Vaughn, hopes his death sparks change.
“I don’t want my nephew’s loss to just be about this memorial or the funeral or any of those processes because he lived in terms of his spirit, and I want that spirit to be what drives this community to work towards change,” Johnson said.
The grandfather says he knows exactly what he would say to his grandson if Cromartie were still here. Its a message he conveyed to his grandson often when he was still alive.
“I’d say I love him and to stay out of these streets and the bad parts and get a job and that’s what he did,” Vaughn said.
Officers took someone into custody after the shooting, but later released them without filing charges. Police say they need the public’s help, and ask anyone with information to call them if you know anything about the shooting.
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