City officials to take action after second Sandy Ridge shooting this year

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Monday night’s deadly shooting at the Sandy Ridge apartment complex marks the second shooting there in the past five months. Tony Baker was shot Monday night in Whiteville, and he died after being airlifted to the hospital.

After a shooting took place at those apartments in May, leaders in Whiteville met with the property’s owners. They wanted to take steps to make it a safer place to live.

“We had a good conversation at that point,” said Whiteville Chief of Police Doug Ipock. “We had some good discussion. We thought, at that point, things were moving in the right direction, but subsequently, since then, nothing has really been done.”

Police have added extra patrols in the neighborhood since the shooting in May. Chief Ipock says they also tried to work with the property’s management group on safety improvements.

City officials say the management group has not done its part.

“They were supposed to put cameras up, more lighting, and they just kept putting it off and now this other event has happened,” says Mayor of Whiteville Terry Mann.

After Monday night’s deadly shooting, city officials say they may have no other choice than to take legal action and close the complex.

“I would just hope our DA would — I want to push him to get a little bit more aggressive now because it’s just getting to the point that, you know, I don’t know what else we can do other than vacate the property,” says Mayor Mann.

The District Attorney for Columbus County, Jon David, released this statement to WECT when asked what actions he plans to take after the most recent shooting.

“The filing of a civil lawsuit against the property owners is eminent. My office has been working very closely with the nuisance abatement team with ALE and the Whiteville Police Department since the most recent shooting incident in May. We have met with the out-of-state property owners on two occasions. While some corrective measures have been taken, we are not satisfied that enough has been done to adequately protect the property owners, their guests, and the surrounding community. The homicide last night underscores the need to take aggressive action and that is what we intend to do.”

Police are relying on information from people in the apartment complex and the community to find out who is responsible for last night’s shooting. Anyone with information should call the Whiteville Police Department at (910)- 642-5111.

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