DOWNTOWN VIOLENCE: Busy start to holiday weekend for WPD

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Last call downtown was the start of problems for Wilmington Police this holiday weekend. Officers working downtown encountered large crowds and responded to several fights when bars closed at 2 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release.

Police say they broke up a very large fight with about 50 to 60 people at 2nd and Princess. Then, around 2:31 a.m. a WPD officer on foot patrol near N. 2nd and Market Streets heard a single gunshot that sounded like it came from one block east. As she and another officer responded to the area, New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies radioed that they were in the 100 block of N. 2nd Street with a man who had been shot in the leg. When officers got there, a 17-year-old was sitting in the passenger's seat of a van his brother was driving, and they apparently were trying to leave the scene when deputies stopped them. WPD officers interviewed both brothers, and their stories varied somewhat. A witness near the scene gave a third version of what had happened. All three men said there had been a fight prior to the shooting. The witness said he knew who did the shooting, but he would not provide the information. The victim was transported for treatment. His injury did not appear to be life-threatening. The case is under investigation.

Around 2:38 a.m., one of the same officers was dispatched to the 100 block of N. 3rd Street for a report of someone being cut on the arm. When the officer arrived at the scene, EMS was preparing to take an 18-year-old man to the hospital. A WPD supervisor at the scene found a blood trail leading from where the victim had been found to the intersection of 2nd and Princess Streets. At the hospital, the victim told police he had been walking through a crowd, but did not know exactly where he was when he felt something hit his arm. He said when he looked down he saw that he was bleeding. The victim would not give police more information.

Investigators say the shooting and knife cut could be related.

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Downtown bars used to be fun. But thanks to ROX and Rhino, the hoodrats have over run the downtown scene too and have taken over other venues besides Rox and Rhino. I personally have stopped going downtown as it is too ghetto. Walk in any little bar and there you have a group of thugs in the corner or at the pool table. This can be a bar that 6 months ago didn't have this problem. They fight, intimidate, and cause problems. They don't know how to act, talk properly or anything. They create a confrontation out of the smallest thing. Well, let em' have downtown and kill eachother

Every one of these stories centers around drunken bozos shooting or cutting up other drunken bozos.

Why care? It's trash killing trash. I say build a wall around downtown and air-drop in ammo and more knives. Let the police protect and serve those who deserve protection and service.

Downtown Wilmington is the best part of this city. It's got great historic architecture, great interesting people and art, fine nightlife options and dining, and so few chain stores and restaurants! I've lived downtown for several years and never had a crime perpetrated on me. The people that get in trouble are usually looking for it.
Still I'm for more cops and lighting downtown if it's going to scare away the moneyed class. Can't keep scaring their dollars away in this difficult economy.

Yet another issue in the jungle that 2nd and Market turns into when the clubs close. I've said it before and stand behind it, it looks like a "hood" with thugs and punks just looking to start trouble.

Everybody wants to be a thug. Act like an ignorant thug, get treated like an ignorant thug. Maybe they'll all just stab each other and get it over with. Do everyone a favor. OH NO, I MUST be referring to a certain color of people too, since I'm talking about how they ALL act at the time and place in question. That other guy making a post about comparing it to Wrightsville Beach... Since when do you see a scene like 2nd and Market at Wrightsville Beach!? Wannabe drug dealers and thugs or drunk frat boys... yeah, you aren't really proving your own point there.

The same coward who'd claim rascism for saying you don't like a Obama.

I haven't read anybody calling somebody a racist for not liking Obama,that would be ignorant.I may not be proving my point but you sure are proving it for me.The mayor at Wrightsville says there's fights all the time when the bars close so call him a liar.

OK, maybe thugs in the "hood" isn't very PC these days when referring to the congregating of youth cutting each other up after the bars close.

Here are some perhaps kinder suggestions to call the neighborhood:

Bed Stuy by the Beach. The South's South Bronx.

NOWHERE is 2nd and Market mentioned.
But the hate you seeth drips out.
Pathetic and sad.

You are as much as a realist as I possess the ability to turn lead into gold. Anybody that has a lick of common sense knows what type of crowds form there at that time of the morning. You are just bitter you don't know any better.

You must be a democrat because you can't grasp the truth that some people are just trash. Nowhere did I mention a race. I did make a mistake and put Market instead of Princess. Please forgive me perfect one.

So just because the article doesn't mention 2nd and Market st as a bad place, it just magically isn't bad? Because you are making it seem that they can't relate 2nd and Market st (WHERE THE LAST ASSAULTS HAVE OCCURRED) to the article (WHICH IS ABOUT ASSAULTS). You are a lousy instigator who has no right making such an inciteful comment on a forum like this. Get a hobby. And let the intelligent people talk.

You like to refer to this bar by using the words hoods and jungle and other names that everone knows what you are refering to,but if you read the Star News you would see that Wrightsville has the same problem.Are you going to call that a jungle?

Because I'm not commenting about race, I'm commenting about the inability of some people to behave in public like they have a bit of sense.

That's because they go down there when downtown fills up.

who did the shooting? Isn't there some charge for withholding evidence after a crime? I think something like "accessory to .... after the fact..."

If the witness won't talk, and there's no criminal charge to which he can be cited, perhaps the responding officers could stop in the neighborhood for regular updates. Sooner or later, the shooter(s) will think he's talked, and make a move OR the witness will speak while he still has time before the shooter(s) take some action.

Used to work in the movies anyway.

To begin with. . I bet 99 percent of the city police have to be downtown on Friday and Saturday nights to help with the drunk kids coming out of the bars. Yes, kids. Anyone who thinks the majority of these fools are 21 or older is living in a fantasy world. What happens to the rest of the city when this is going on? What do you do if you need a city policeman?? And of all things, our city council condones this behavior. They have meetings to "figure out how to handle these immature, underage and older drunks" when in fact they should be trying to come to a mature decision on how to stop all this. There are too many bars downtown. It doesn't take a college graduate to realize that when you turn this many kids loose in a small confined area and let them drink till they drop you are going to have serious problems with injuries and even death. I can't wait to see the fiasco when the convention center opens and those people want to go downtown on a weekend night for dinner. I used to love to go downtown for dinner and a stroll but you couldn't get me down there for anything now. Someone needs to wake up and take this situation by the seat of the pants and stop it.

There are certain clubs that allow underage drinking to set in, but to say its the underage drinkers causing problems is nothing short of a farce. A vast majority of the problem causers are 21 to 25 years old

As a 30 year old who grew up drinking downtown underage, I can tell you when you're drunk and underage the last thing you want is trouble. You know which bars will allow it and which ones to avoid. You also know that any interaction with a police officer is going to be a phone call home or an instant citation.

The problem is far more complex, but the heart of it is the 2am bar closing. Dump 3000 drunks onto the streets at one time in a single place and yes...there will be problems. Too many bars close together, plenty of bars guilty of over serving, and way too many hot tempered 21-25'ers out there just looking to fight when getting laid isn't an option.

Well I think 2 issues need to be addressed,and not tip toed around:
1- It is clear that race is an issue when it comes to the current problem downtown especially in the area of 2nd and market. Anyone who challenges that should do them self a favor and actually go down to see the zoo that it is, and not sit behind a computer and gripe.
2- To Vicky who clearly has not thought out her comment " There are too many bars downtown" what about larger citys such as New York, Chicago, etc. where there are 10 times the amount of bars that Wilmington has in the same amount of area. It doesnt seem to me that in such a tough economic climate, business that contribute HEAVILY in taxes, as well as offer many many jobs should be closed down because there are not enough officers to police the area. If the city adopted a zero tollerance policy downtown toward fighting, loitering, urinating in public, and general drunk and disordely conduct, that would surely be a start to cleaning up the issues.