Concern and calls for change in Wilkes County after some recent shootings.
We talked to people who live there and community leaders about the crime this past week and what needs to be done to fix it.
Tyesha Dye heard the shots ring out in her Washington Heights Apartments community Monday and remained inside to stay safe.
“I had this little girl with me so, I had to lock the door so she wouldn’t go outside just in case it was nearby,” she recalled. “I kind of was scared at first and then I said, we’ll it might be ok.”
That shooting Monday on Meredith Circle was one of four incidents that has taken place in Washington since April 4.
An investigator with the Sheriff’s Office told us a fight that day outside two businesses on Baltimore Road led to a man pulling out a weapon. It discharged and he shot himself.
Two early morning shootings on April 7 were targeted though. One on Second Street and another on Peachtree Street where a man was shot while lying asleep in bed after 4:00 a.m.
“I want it to stop, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen again because it’s just too much going on and you know how beefing goes,” Dye said.
The investigator on the case said he believes the shootings are gang related.
All of the incidents fall in Councilman Maceo Mahoney’s district, which is District 1. He too said the shootings are part of an ongoing beef between two gangs.
“To have the number of drive by shootings, people getting shot. Washington is a small community. We’re better than this,” Councilman Mahoney said. “I think the situation has gotten out of control. I think us as leaders need to sit the young men down and have a conversation with them and get them to put the guns down.”
Councilman Mahoney said he has spoken with both groups and at least one wants to sit down and talk about the disagreement.
But Councilman Nathaniel Cullars has a different plan.
He said, “The plan we’re trying to put back is to get our police department back so we can have enough force to patrol the city like it should be.”
Cullars adds a curfew is needed for kids too.
The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating each incident.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps