“We’re not going to rush this”: Wilmington Police Chief asks for patience during investigation

WPD Chief updates City Council about weekend shooting

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington Police Department Chief Donny Williams and Mayor Bill Saffo appealed to the public for witnesses at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Wilmington Police Department Chief Donny Williams addressed city leaders saying that the investigation is ongoing and they believe this is an isolated incident.

“Our hearts go out to all affected by this senseless violence,” said Williams.

He said a gun fight had erupted in the home Saturday that involved seven people and three of the seven didn’t make it. He added that because of the number of victims and circumstances it means it’s going to take time to find all the answers. He asked that everyone be patient as they investigate thoroughly.

“We intend on taking the needed time to seek answers and justice,” said Williams.

Saffo urged the community to reach out with any information.

“There were a lot of people at the party Saturday night. No witnesses have come forward at this point,” said Saffo. “We need your help as a community; if you have any information on this shooting, please contact the police.”

The shooting took the lives of three and left four others injured and in the hospital when, according to investigators, a gunfight erupted during a house party early Saturday morning. It happened on 7th and Kidder Streets.

As of right now there is no word on a motive or any suspects in the shooting.

While there was not much more information on the investigation into the shooting itself, Saffo spoke about the heroic efforts of one Wilmington police officer, whose quick actions saved one of the wounded victims.

“For that officer, who has not been on the force that long, to have taken that young woman, put her in the back of his cruiser, did not wait for the ambulance, and rush her to New Hanover Hospital saved her life,” Saffo said. “I’m proud of the life-saving efforts and that act, that heroic act of not just waiting for the ambulance to get there. The woman would have bled out and died.”

Elected leaders for both the city and New Hanover County have said they are both shocked and deeply saddened by what happened over the weekend.

Williams previously decided not to offer any further interviews or hold a formal press conference about the shooting until more information becomes available.

“The direction this investigation goes in will determine the timeline on when that press conference will be,” Williams said. “We intend on taking the needed time to seek answers and justice. We’re not going to rush this.”

The Wilmington Police Department released a statement on Monday that said detectives are working “around the clock” in their investigation. Police added that because of the number of victims, this case “will take time and a significant amount of manpower to conduct a thorough investigation and bring justice to the victims and their families.”

If you have any information, police ask that you contact the Wilmington Police Department at (910)-343-3609 or use the Wilmington, NC PD app. You can also text an anonymous tip to 847411 (tip411) by including the keyword WPDNC.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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