By Michael Praats | May 7, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT – Updated May 7 at 7:31 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Gun violence in Wilmington and New Hanover County seems to be on the rise, and over the past several years, the fighting has continued to spread throughout the community. From parks packed with kids playing baseball to one of Wilmington’s busiest roads – the violence is not isolated to just one area.
The shootings have left many Wilmington residents searching for answers, and police with several investigations, oftentimes, with uncooperative witnesses. District Attorney Ben David weighed in on some of the issues facing the community.
The gun violence Wilmington has seen is a multifaceted problem David said, that needs to be addressed on all sides. That includes providing police and other law enforcement with the tools that they need in order to solve crimes and do their jobs.
“We are not a community that believes in defunding these efforts we are going to continue to adequately staff the law enforcement function, but also understand that this is not an either-or proposition – it’s a yes and so we need to make sure we are also working on the long term social determinants of health and saying what can we do to prevent this violence and to intervene in the lives of particularly young people who might be on a bad path,” he said.
As far as the impacts of the violence go, nobody knows better than those who have lost a loved one. Almost one year ago, on May 10, 2020, Daiquan Jacobs was driving his car on Oleander Drive when he was shot and killed. His uncle, Ziggy King, reflects on the life that was taken too soon.
“Gun violence has impacted my life because it has taken something that was so precious, and amazing to me – away from me – which was my nephew,” he said.
But instead of hatred or vengeance, King is taking a different approach to dealing with the pain and grief that was put on him and his family.
“My message would be love, my message would be peace, my message would be prayer, my message would be pause, stop, think about it, it’s not just them you’re harming, it’s yourself as well because when you look at that person that you’re about to – slaughter – you’re also looking at yourself,” he said.
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