Homicides nearly double in Winston-Salem compared to last year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, the number of homicides in the city this year nearly doubled compared to 2012.

So far in 2013, the police department has investigated 15 homicides compared to eight at this time last year.

FOX8 talked to community leaders who believe the escalation of violence should be addressed immediately.

“I don't think people realize how many people out here are struggling,” pointed out Dr. John Mendez, the Reverend at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.

He says this year’s violence in the city reminds him of the 1990s, when he helped lead a program to lower crime in the Piedmont.

“One of the things we were able to do was offer opportunities but also bring down the violence. In High Point they did bring it down to almost zero so we know it can work,” explained Dr. Mendez.

He believes it’s time to launch another program in Winston-Salem targeting youth. In his experience, Dr. Mendez said violence starts with young people who grew up in poverty, have low self-esteem and turn to crime.

“Having to go to school and come home to sleep on the floor or in bathtubs to escape the violence. So what I'm saying is the violence begins in one's spirit before it becomes and external act.”

Ten of the 15 homicide victims in Winston-Salem this year were people 29 years old or younger. Several arrests of murder suspects involved young men in their 20s.

“Unfortunately, it's not surprising,” said Sylvester Reed, Jr. when told about the number of homicides increasing this year.

Reed is a Case Manager with Piedmont Support Services of North Carolina. The non-profit in Winston Salem helps at-risk youth.

Reed believes in the power of mentorship because of first-hand experience. “I had an opportunity to be around good role models, good mentors, who not only were with me while I was in the program, but they were accessible after I moved on.”

“Hope is the missing element,” suggested Dr. Mendez.

They are determined new programs can help teens find hope before they resort to violence.

“Our young people are tomorrow's leaders,” Reed concluded.


  • Cripes A Mighty

    Well this can’t be right. In response to some comments I made on another story, Stephen Melton replied with the following comment:

    “and in the areas that they have controlled for a while, where the average law abiding citizen can not be armed, gun violence is higher statistically than in areas where its not controlled as harsh.”
    End Quote

    Last time I checked, NC citizens have had the right to own guns for quite a long time. They also have the right to carry concealed, and with your new Governor, they get to carry their gun just about every place possible with the exception of government buildings.

    Based on our liberal gun laws and gun ownership rights and based on Stephen’s view of the facts of crime and gun ownership, Winston-Salem’s homicide rate should have gone down instead of going up by nearly double.

    Must be a mistake or maybe the liberals falsified the report. Had to be the liberals right Stephen?

  • FaithC

    “He believes it’s time to launch another program in Winston-Salem targeting youth.”

    Maybe they can get together with Greensboro and have some arts and crafts classes for these young people. Or maybe we can have harsher punishment for crimes committed with a gun. Notice I did not say laws, I said punishment.

  • The One

    Maybe its all the kids that haven’t been raised right. Or it could be all the jobs that have left the area and people going on welfare? Who knows?

  • truth.com

    any murder is bad…but 15 isnt that many..Chicago has at least 500 every year thats almost 2 a day…..Greensboro have had almost 50 in one year just a few years back…so 15 really isnt that bad!!!

  • Felix Hernandez

    Stop giving people easy targets. Arm yourself, and carry. Exercise your right to self defense and stop expecting police to be there when you need them. My 0.2 cents.

  • B

    Look at the time these murders occurr along with drug and alcohol use = homicide. We need to focuse on idiot drivers that kill because we have more people killed in car collisions due to speed and DWI.

  • Bigjohn

    Time for a new police chief and a new strategy on how to fight crime. How about neighborhood policing where the police get to know those in their area. Time to put the radar guns away and do some serious police work.

  • Johnette Hampton

    We had home invesion Nov13 2012 my family has identify the person that shot my son twice i had several meetings with Mr. James Taylor who has assisred my family meet with the assistant Cheif of police and the Cheif of police provided all information receipt for propertytaking from my home and still no assert on this individual contacted civil rights leaders. Very sad our Cheif of police is African American also well and they do not care about the black on black crime. At the end of the day we voted for the Cheif of police need to start making him accou. And when has drugs more important the human lives.i am very aware of my rights the Forsyth police better have all their T’s crossand I dotted

  • Johnette Hampton

    The police are only here to service and protect their own that does not mean our community the we has to make the police and detectives accountable i started protecting my family the police interrogation the victims and belittering our African people

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.