‘You’re not even comfortable coming out on your own porch’: Neighbors react to ongoing violence in Burlington

Piedmont Triad News

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Four shootings in the past week in the city of Burlington have neighbors scared to speak. 

But police are pleading with the community to come forward with more information. One of those shootings took the life of a 21-year-old man. 

The first shooting happened Wednesday on the 700 block of Sharpe Road. No injuries were reported in the incident. 

By Sunday, three other shootings followed in under 12 hours. Now, cops are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to more.

“Mothers, grandmothers, parents of children, brothers, siblings and cousins will be more impactful in stopping gun violence as a group of people than law enforcement can alone,” said Brian Long, teh assistant chief with the Burlington Police Department.

Police said all four incidents involved some juveniles, stolen property and drugs.

“After they steal a car…they’re breaking into other vehicles throughout the evening trying to gain property. And in some cases, they’re actually obtaining firearms,” Long explained.

Police have made one arrest so far in relation to the shooting on the 700 block of Floyd Street that left one person injured Sunday.

That same day, a separate but related shooting on the 100 block of Brooks Street killed the 21-year-old. 

Later, that victim’s family’s home on the 500 Block of Key Street had bullet holes in it as well, leaving someone injured in a separate weekend shooting. 

Because all four shootings happened within a one-mile radius of one another, neighbors are in so much fear for their lives that they didn’t want their faces shown and asked FOX8 to disguise their voices for their safety.

In a joint interview, multiple neighbors described the minutes following the Brooks Street shooting.

“We saw someone carrying a gun…as if, ‘here I am. What are you going to do about it?’” neighbors explained.

They told FOX8 they always see drug and gang activity on their block.

“You can hear people over there arguing, fighting, and it’s just sad. There are little-bitty babies over there- kids. It’s to the point where you’re not even comfortable coming out on your own porch anymore,” they said. 

They described how devastating it was to watch the young man’s mother at the scene discovering her son’s life had been taken.

“It breaks my heart. It’s so sad that it’s the younger generation,” a neighbor said. “I can’t imagine how she feels. That’s your baby. That’s your baby.”

Neighbors believe the people responsible for the 21-year old’s death could be living in the neighborhood.

“For you to just be in the family’s face like you don’t know something, but you know something…I just don’t see how you could be okay with yourself,” a neighbor said. 

Police want to remind people they can stay anonymous through crime stoppers. That number is (336) 229-7100.

The BPD is hoping to up the $1,000 reward for information leading to more arrests. 

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