CHADBOURN, N.C. (WECT) – Days after three people were killed at a party early Saturday morning in Chadbourn, town leaders held a media briefing to respond to the increase of violence.
Educators, law enforcement agents, politicians and faith leaders all attended the press conference Wednesday afternoon at town hall. It began and ended in prayer for the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting, the investigators working the case, and the community members who showed up to put an end to the violence.
Leaders agree the small town has grappled with gun violence for some time now, and after this weekend, they knew they had to reach out to the community as a whole for their help putting a stop to it for good.
“Today it’s about Chadbourn, tomorrow it could be about someone else,” said town manager Jerome Chestnut.
Chadbourn is a close knit town that’s home to 1,700 people.
Chestnut says everyone knows each other, and the entire community was rocked from the loss of three lives this weekend. Violence is an issue that’s personal for Chestnut, having grieved his own loss in 2019.
“My brother lost his life in this town due to violence, due to gun violence. If I am telling our citizens that we’re doing everything that we can to make it safer here, I promise them we are,” said Chestnut.
The goal of the event was to convey that town leaders are doing everything they can to make sure that another family doesn’t have to bury their loved one.
The town manager also unveiled a four-point action plan he will submit to council on how they can stop the cycle of violence in Chadbourn.
The plan includes adding staff to the now five-man police department, beginning a gun buyback program, creating a fund to pay people for submitting anonymous crime tips, and bringing community leaders like business owners and churches together to form a community crisis team.
“All of us are gonna have to come together to combat it. Just because it didn’t happen in your backyard today doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen tomorrow. And just because it happens in your backyard, it should be no less important to me. It takes all of us working together with one common goal to stop this violence,” said Mayor Philip Britt. “We want the community to know we’re here for them, that their voice is not going unheard. We hear their voices and we are going to work — we are committed to working to help them.”
WECT has reached out to the District Attorney’s office for any updates in the case, but has not received any information about possible suspects or arrests.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.