WPD: Violent crime down in 2022, one murder remains unsolved

The city's police department responded to more than 600 violent crimes, which are classified as murders, rapes, robberies and assaults.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:21 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The number of violent crimes in Wilmington decreased in 2022 compared to the year before, according to WPD Chief Donny Williams.

In his annual report to the city council Monday morning, Williams said despite a 15-20 percent decrease in the department’s deployable workforce in 2022, officers still responded to 149,922 calls.

Overall, police reported 603 incidents of violent crimes including 13 murders (11 homicide cases, one of which had three victims), 79 rape cases, 106 robberies, and 405 aggravated assaults. The total number of violent crimes is down six percent from the 644 reported in 2021.

Councilman Luke Waddell says the crime reduction is an encouraging sign.

“Ultimately, we had a decrease almost across the board most notably, most importantly, in violent crime, which was a major point of council and the city overall was to reduce violent crime. I don’t think we’re taking our foot off the gas on that,” Waddell said.

Williams says the six percent decrease in crime is the largest reduction the department has reported since 2009.

The city also saw a four percent decrease in property crimes in 2022. Despite an additional 45 motor vehicle thefts compared to 2021, the overall number of cases of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson dropped by 102 last year.

As the city council continues to push for a crackdown on violent crime, Williams reflected on the 11 homicide incidents and 13 victims in 2022. In total, six of the 11 were fatal assaults, two were domestic violence incidents, two were gang-related, and one was drug-related. The only unsolved 2022 murder case in Wilmington is that of Devin Williams, who was shot on 31st Street in late January of 2022 and later died at the hospital.

Ten of the 11 homicides involved guns, with the exception being the murder of Miyonna Jones. Her half-brother, Jahreese Jones, is charged with killing her.

Williams also reported that there were 15 traffic fatalities in the city in 2022, including seven pedestrian deaths.

Waddell says he is also concerned about drug activity in the city.

“We do have some open-air drug markets right here across the street that I think we need to work together with the county and I think we’re all going to hopefully address here in the near future.”

Williams declined WECT’s request for an on-camera interview following his presentation.