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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Less than one month after the end of a 90-day cease fire initiative, shootings continue in the Port City.

Just minutes after a news conference by the city and county yesterday on fighting gang violence, more shots were fired.

So again, community leaders are stepping up, speaking out, and trying to make a difference by stopping the gun violence.

As law enforcement investigated another two shootings, plus a car chase last night, community and church leaders met to discuss the rash of violence plaguing the Port City.

One of those leaders, Hollis Briggs says he lived in Atlanta for 24 years, so crime is nothing new to him.

“This isn’t my first rodeo in a city with this much violence,” Briggs said.

But he says finding a solution to the problem is harder than it seems.

“People are frustrated,” Briggs said. “Sometimes frustration is dealt with in a violent manner. We would hope that this wouldn’t continue over a long period of time. But right now, it’s what we have to deal with.”

Briggs says in order to find a solution; we must first pinpoint the cause of the violence.

“The economy is in dire straits right now. A lot of people are jobless,” Briggs explained. “With the government shutdown, it’s even worse.”

And it does not help that many witnesses are too scared to talk, especially after Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said a list of people who have talked to investigators got into the hands of gang members, and caused the surge in violence.

Briggs says trust is a big issue among witnesses.

“Nobody trusts anybody anymore, so we need to work on that,” Briggs added.

Briggs says he does not know what the perfect solution is. But he says he and other community leaders will not stop until the violence ends.

Briggs says community leaders just have to keep trying different things until they find a solution that works. He says they will also keep the lines of communication open with young people in the Port City.


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