Winston-Salem police see increase in shootings, homes struck by bullets

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Winston-Salem woman says she’s afraid to be at home after a bullet struck her house.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the bullet came in through her parent’s bedroom and clipped a wall before landing on the other side of the room.

“It was like two, three feet above their head,” she said. “If it would've crossed the other wall it probably would've hit my sister.”

Winston-Salem police say the home on Devonshire Street was hit during a shooting in a neighboring parking lot Saturday night.

The family’s car was also damaged.

On Monday, a sergeant with the Winston-Salem Police Department told FOX8 the department has seen a rise in shootings this spring and summer. More homes have also been hit.

He says most of the time the shooters and victims know each other, but about a third of the homes struck are unintentional.

“I think we are very lucky that we haven't seen things that are worse happen,” Sgt. Chris Diamont said.

To combat the shootings, the Winston-Salem Police Department joined forces with the sheriff’s office, ATF and Homeland Security to create a Violent Firearms Investigation Team in mid-April.

Diamont says to keep families safe, they need to get the people behind the shootings off the streets. The VFIT team targets them directly.

“We have been very successful though with apprehending shooters involved,” Diamont said. “Several of the cases are still ongoing on because it seems to be the same small group that's associated with multiple shootings over and over again.”

Diamont says its not just about getting the shooters off the streets, but also keeping them off. VFIT is working with the prosecutor’s office to do things like raise bond amounts for these offenders.

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