WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Business owners along Burke Street talked to FOX8 about the recent gun violence in the area.
On Monday, there was a deadly shooting on the street. It was the second one in about six weeks.
Some owners are worried the normally busy street will be empty because of the violence. The message they wanted people to know is the shootings are not a reflection of the area.
“It is unfortunate that you can own a business and just try to be serving your community, and this just happens randomly,” said David Havens, who owns Eastern Standard.
Havens’ bar is a few doors down from Gatsby’s Pub, which was the scene of a shooting early Monday morning. Winston-Salem police said this started after a fight.
“I don’t think a gun is a way to settle an argument, and nine times out of 10 the argument is so insignificant anyway,” Havens said.
Officers said multiple shots were fired, and 35-year-old Quante Wilder was killed. Police arrested and charged 19-year-old Nehemiah Changer with his murder.
For owners in the area like Havens, they worry the violence will give Burke Street a bad reputation, especially since this is the second shooting this year in the area.
The first was Jan. 19t at Burke Street Pub where two bystanders were shot. One of them died.
“This is not something to do specifically with these establishments,” Havens said. “They’re not inviting bad behavior nor do they condone it.”
Havens said the shootings haven’t affected his business, but other owners in the area said things have been slow because people don’t feel safe.
On Monday at about 7:30 p.m., FOX8 crews spotted a police car sitting across from Gatsby’s Pub, keeping an eye on things. Owners are getting together with officers to discuss ways to make the area safer.
“Getting together and discussing with the police department more interactive cameras outside. More access to those cameras to let them act faster in emergency situations,” Havens said.
Until then, Havens doesn’t want people to stop coming to his bar and other places along burke street.
“The bar owners on Burke Street care about their patrons, care about their business,” he said. “They take the business of our ownership very serious, and I would just like the community to know that that Burke Street is as safe today as it always is.”
Jeff Macintosh is the city council member over this area. In a statement Monday night he said, “It is frustrating when our police force, like most others in the country, are short 149 sworn officers, which prevents us from adding additional officers during the hours they are needed most.”
He’s meeting with the city manager and assistant city manager on Tuesday to talk about what they can do to help the area.