Community members denounce recent acts of violence around Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Eight people arrested charged in relation to shootings that date back two weeks. Five of them, police say, are validated gang members.On the surface, that is what we know about these incidents. Police say out of the 25 shootings since November 10th, several were connected and others were isolated incidents. Even after arrests, community members informed WWAY they believed gunfire was still being heard in parts of north Wilmington.- Advertisement – “The solution is getting at the root cause of violence in our culture and in society,” said Don Arabian with Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence.Arabian’s groups developed out of national cases of gun violence but actively works around the Wilmington community to promote fewer illegal guns in homes and on streets.“We have to get to a point of an honest productive dialogue,” said Arabian.Related Article: Women accused of stealing from Walmart in ShallotteArabian, like many, is saddened to see the recent increase in gunfire and violence around areas of Wilmington where he knows that it happens all too often.“Those are children. Children getting shot, children being shot, children being hurt, children being damaged,” said Arabian.Since November 2nd, police have reported more than half a dozen people have been injured in shootings.It’s enough to motivate community voices like Coast 97.3’s Bigg B, Brandon Hickman, who took to the airwaves about the recent violence. He says the impacts from Florence and desperation into the holidays could be playing a role in the crimes.“It’s a lot of things and it can lead to an emotional situation that can lead to gun violence,” said Bigg B.Arabian says all too often, the issue is not only gangs, but the ease for offenders to obtain illegal firearms. In fact several people arrested by WPD face charges of illegally possessing a firearm.“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Arabian referring to the arrests. “Maybe it will help people feel safer. But it’s always just below the surface.”That’s a sentiment Bigg B also shared with us.“I don’t think you can blame it all on the gangs. Because those people that had been arrested some were gang members and some were not,” said Bigg B.For Hickman, he also agrees a conversation needs to be started or reignited. Police say no one has been killed yet in relation to these shootings, but they worry it’s only a matter of time.“You know you can solve something without going to gun violence,” said Bigg B.It’s violence that is spreading across various age groups. Those charged by police range from 17 to 54 years old.“That affects our community,” said Bigg B. “Because you lost a father or uncle or a brother or a sister and it tears up families.”It also spreads fear. Many people we reached out to in the areas like S. 13th Street were too afraid for their safety to talk on camera. Bigg B calls on mentors in these tight-lipped communities to step in.last_img

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