GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — People who live in some Triad neighborhoods are worried a single bullet or multiple bullets could come through the walls of a home and hurt someone.
Situations where someone was shooting into a building with people inside are on the rise in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
From 2021 to 2022, Greensboro went from 213 to 229. During the same time in Winston-Salem, the numbers grew from 239 to 322.
So far this year, the numbers are climbing with 81 incidents in Greensboro and 91 in Winston-Salem.
It’s something Dr. Irish Spencer gets calls about often.
“Ducking now is a normal thing for children, and it shouldn’t be,” Dr. Spencer said. “Families are thinking about moving…families are scared when they live in neighborhoods with random guns firing all the time.”
Dr. Spencer believes the case of Sharelle Johnson shocked the community.
The 25-year-old was at home with her children at the end of March when 23-year-old Deon Monk reportedly started firing a gun at a different person outside. One of the bullets went through the wall of Sharelle’s apartment and killed her.
“That really did affect a neighborhood. It shouldn’t have happened to an innocent person,” Dr. Spencer said.
An 8-year-old girl fell victim earlier this year. Aacuria Hinton was at home asleep when someone opened fire near her home, hitting her home multiple times and leaving her with wounds on her face.
Sharelle killer was arrested. The person or people who shot Aacuria are still out there.
Guilford County deputies say justice can be hard to find.
“The frustrating part is trying to solve it because there’s usually a lack or minimal amount of evidence to process…when I say ‘minimal,’ I mean shell casings,” said Lt. Jay Eaton with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers try to canvas the neighborhood and ask people what they’ve seen, but it’s tough getting people who are willing to speak.
“We need education. That’s what’s going to help folks,” Dr. Spencer said.
Spencer’s group Families Against Senseless Killings educates victims about the justice process and makes them feel safe.
“They’re quick to tell you, ‘I have to live there. When everyone’s gone, when the police are gone, the cameras are gone’ I have to still live here,'” Dr. Spencer said.
She walks victims through how to communicate with investigators and shows people who live in fear there is a way to change their community anonymously.
“Somebody somewhere has to step up and help that next child not get shot,” Dr. Spencer said.
Lt. Eaton and Dr. Spencer both say Crime Stoppers is one of their strongest resources in the fight.