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3 shootings, 5 days: Local leaders comment on spike in gun violence

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Law enforcement leaders are on high alert after the region has seen three acts of gun violence, resulting in the deaths of three people in the last five days.

“The recent increase in violence has weighed heavily on myself and fellow city council members. I have remained in close contact with the district attorney and local law enforcement to ensure they have the support and resources necessary to do their jobs. Like so many others, this community is my home, and everyone deserves to feel safe in their home,” said Mayor Bill Saffo in an email, responding to this week’s gun violence.

Law enforcement has been unable to link the three incidents to each other or formally say they’re related in any way.

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings.

The chain of events began last weekend after a double homicide at the home of George Taylor III, the chief operating officer of TRU Colors Brewing Company, a brewery that says it employs active gang members in an effort to reduce gun violence through economic opportunity.

Koredreese Tyson and Bri’yanna Williams died in the house on Providence Road on Saturday. Another woman in the house was hit by gunfire but survived.

As of Friday, deputies have not released any suspect information.

Days later, WPD officers responded after a shootout between the occupants of two cars on 5th and Grace streets in downtown Wilmington.

No one was injured, but two other cars were caught in the crossfire, one of which was occupied when more than a dozen shots rang out. Officers have not provided any descriptions of the cars involved in the shooting or any information on who might have been involved in the gun battle.

In the latest incident, a drive by shooting on South 14th Street, two women were shot and one of those victims died. As of Friday evening, investigators have not yet identified the deceased or sent an update about the condition of the surviving victim.

On Thursday night, WPD officers were able to provide images of a car of interest in the case.

Wilmington Police responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the 800 Block of S. 13th St. at 5:27 PM. Upon arrival,...

Posted by Wilmington, NC Police Department on Thursday, July 29, 2021

While investigators haven’t been able to provide any case updates, Sheriff Ed McMahon and Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams issued a joint statement Friday evening:

“Wilmington Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office are working together on joint strategies and enhanced patrols. Our commitment to keeping the community safe is shared by our city council and county commissioners. The senseless violence of this past week is tragic, and we are working together to bring justice and help heal the community.”

At Thursday evening’s press briefing following the homicide on 14th Street, Captain Thomas Tilmon announced the department was preparing for what could be a busy weekend, adding additional patrols and officers in response to the spike of gun violence.

District Attorney Ben David also issued a similar statement Friday evening, highlighting the work of the region’s law enforcement partners.

“In my more than two decades as a prosecutor I have never seen the law enforcement agencies more unified. We have a coordinated strategy in place. I see their resolve to bring justice to these cases,” said David.

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