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Wilmington shootings down from 2014 despite recent rash

August 01, 2015

WILMINGTON -- While there has been a rash of shootings in the city in recent weeks -- including a fatal one July 21 -- the numbers show a decrease over calls from last year and motives have shifted, officials said.

Between June 7 and July 27, the Wilmington Police Department responded to 31 shootings calls, compared to 45 in the same time period in 2014. The numbers come from the city's automated gunfire detection system, ShotSpotter.

In a five-day period alone, July 21 to July 26, there were 10 shooting calls. In those cases, six people were shot, including Carlton Whitley, 28, who was gunned down as he stood in a parking lot near the corner of Metting and Darlington avenues. Police do not believe the Whitley shooting was gang-related. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

In another case July 26, a woman was arrested after a man was shot on 12th Street in what police characterize as a domestic dispute. The victim is recovering.

“We certainly aren't going to make light of the violence, because people are being shot, but this is just something that we've noticed," said Linda Rawley, Wilmington Police Department spokeswoman. "Last year during that same time frame and the year before, we believe that the majority of those shootings were gang-related.

“This year in the same time frame, a couple shooting calls were gang related, but the others were diverse. One was a domestic violence situation; another was an argument. I think we're dealing with different dynamics.”

Police Chief Ralph Evangelous credits the decrease in shootings to increased patrols in the areas hardest hit last year by gang violence.

Star News Online