After 800 shootings in Durham this year, minister launches community-based effort to stop gun violence

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham minister is launching a new community-based campaign to try to curb violence in the city.

As flashing police lights become a regular scene in Durham, Minister Paul Scott said he wants one thing for Christmas.

“My Christmas wish this year is no more shootings,” said Scott.

There have been more than 800 shootings in Durham so far this year.

“Right now, the Bull City has become the bullet city, and that’s unfortunate,” said Scott.

Last Saturday, there were three shootings within 24 hours. Then later in the week, a man was shot and killed while driving, causing his car to hit five people, including a child.

The rising number of shootings is even taking a toll on Duke University Hospital as they see an average of 10 gunshot wound victims a week.

“I never imagined in my life that Durham, North Carolina that they would just be trying to make it home safely,” said Scott.

Scott’s launching a campaign for the holidays to stop the violence.

It’s made up of 10 initiatives. They range from handing out snacks to starting hotlines to forming a council of elders.

You can find a list of them all online.

“Let’s not have mothers and fathers and family members crying over a lost family member this time of year,” said Scott.

None of his proposed solutions involve grants, politics, or police. Rather, they involve people in the community stepping up to help and stop potential shooters before they pick up a gun.  

“There’s a lot of things being done, but my position has always been, if all these things are being done, why are the murders still happening?” said Scott.

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