WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Hundreds of people gathered outside, multiple guns shots going off. That happened twice in one week in Winston-Salem, injuring 5 people and killing one woman.
On Thursday, loved ones are gathered for a vigil to honor 21-year-old Beatrice Maxine Knights, known as Max, who was shot and killed at Happy Hill Park on Saturday. Another life taken too soon because of gun violence. But that shooting that took her life, was not the only one at a party outside.
On Wednesday, police were called out to 1800 Patterson Avenue in Winston-Salem for shots fired. Police say there were around 500 people at the event and video shows them running and hiding after they heard gunshots. “Anytime that happens there is always the chance for other groups to interfere and know that group is gathering there so it becomes a logical target for them,” said Winston-Salem Mayor, Allen Joines.
He says that the event center is privately owned, but the situation does have similarities to Saturday’s shooting at the city’s Happy Hill Park. “We had folks at one of our recreation centers having a party, having a good time and it was disturbed by a rival group of individuals who were apparently after retribution and in that particular case 4 individuals hurt and one fatality, it’s just very disheartening,” Joines said.
Winston-Salem Police say the two shootings are not connected and are both isolated incidents. But, the mayor says everyone needs to join forces to make this stop. “We are really trying hard to push to social programs, we are going now with our cure the violence program, our program which is our mental health folks that go out on calls as well as just offering young people alternatives to getting into fights so to speak,” he added.
The mayor doesn’t want you to be afraid to go to parks and large gatherings but says something needs to change. “ Enjoy the city, just be cognizant of your surroundings and try to police yourself a little bit,” he said.
Two people have been arrested in Wednesday night’s shooting. Meanwhile, there have not been any arrests for the Happy Hill shooting. Everyone at the vigil on Thursday night was begging the community to come forward if you have information about the shooting that killed Max and injured 4 other people.