High-powered rifles find their way into gang members’ hands in High Point

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Sunday evening, police responded to a shooting on Franklin Avenue in High Point.

More than 30 shots were fired into a house as a family of four sat inside. Police would later find bullet casings in the front yard that prove that at least one high-powered rifle was used in the attack.

High Point has seen a 128% increase over the past seven years in aggravated assaults where a gun was involved. Those numbers include gang-related violence.

“They’re targeting them, their families, individuals, guilty or innocent,” said Dr. Jim Summey, executive director for High Point Community Against Violence.

He has spoken with several former criminals who tell him that gang members are turning toward high-powered rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s because they’re reliable.

It’s also because they can easily cut through walls, windows and metal doors.

High Point police said they have taken more than 60 guns out of the hands of dangerous offenders since the start of 2019.

As for the gang violence seen, Summey said it could be a combination of issues. “Retaliation or initiation are just some of them,” he said.

High Point police have started to focus on target areas in the city.

The four locations are Idol Street, Moffitt Drive, Randolph Street and Leonard Avenue.

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