Castle Street business owner reacts to gang-related violence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —┬áCastle Street businesses are reacting tonight to nearby gang-related activity that left a teenager dead and four others wounded this weekend.

Yesterday, the chief of police said he thinks the community has finally had enough.

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In the middle of the day on Castle Street, you will find people walking, businesses booming, and holiday decorations glowing.

“We call it the art and antique district,” Lavengood said.

This weekend, Castle Corner Antiques and Collectables Owner Cybil Lavengood said the scene was quite different just a few blocks up the road.



“I was on my way to the shop from church,” Lavengood said.

A crime scene where five people were shot.

“I was very upset, couldn’t believe that that would happen on a beautiful Sunday morning,” Lavengood said.

Lavengood said concern spread quickly.

“We are very sorry for the families that this is happening to and for the community and for the town,” Lavengood said. “I don’t like to see the town get that kind of a reputation as being a gang-related town”

She said the problem is not on Castle Street, it is throughout Wilmington.

“Oh, yes,” Lavengood said. “There is no question about that.”

Lavengood said she has never had to question her safety here, but she said the businesses do have one problem.

“Graffiti on the buildings,” Lavengood said.

Sunday, she said she found some on hers.

“It bothers me,” Lavengood said.

Lavengood said she is not an expert, but rumors are that they are gang-related.

“I’m told that’s how they mark their territory and their buildings, but I haven’t a clue in the world.”

Wilmington police say they can use gang-related graffiti for crime investigations. As police continue investigating Sunday’s deadly shooting, Lavengood said it is up to the whole community to help prevent future killings.

“If the families in the community don’t take care, then there is not much we as individuals can do, but be supportive,” Lavengood said.

Wilmington police say no arrests have been made in the mass shooting at this time.

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