WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A teenage girl's arrest last week for the murder of a gang member raises a big question: what is the role of women in gangs in our area?
The Wilmington Police Department Gang Unit says the role of women in local gangs has shifted since the late '90s.
"They are out to prove themselves, so they are just as dangerous as the guys," Gang Unit member Sgt. Amy Guy said.
Guy says WPD has seen a growing number of women involved criminal activity like homicides, drug trafficking, robberies and assaults. She says this is much different from years ago when females were used sexually.
"They are no longer just considered gang property or property of the male gang members," Guy said.
Guy says years ago women would have to have sex with male gang members to get in. Now they are doing the same things as the men to gain entry to the gang.
And for the kids coming up in the system, like 16-year-old Dominique Gibbs, who sources say has tied to the Bloods, along with her mother, it's just the cycle.
"I've been here over 20 years, so I've seen about three generations of family members now involved in the system," Guy said.
With females perpetuating the violence, police say there are no longer barriers between sexes in local gangs anymore.
The city will host a community conversation about gang violence led by youth Feb. 25.