Law enforcement increases patrols at Wilmington park following shooting


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — People are returning to a popular Wilmington park and law enforcement is stepping up patrols where shots rang out Wednesday evening on a basketball court.

It happened at Long Leaf Park near the intersection of South College Road and Oleander Drive. Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots fire around 7 p.m. while children were playing little league baseball on adjacent fields.

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No one was hurt and no suspects have been identified.

Winter Park Optimist T-ball Commissioner Jake Cuba says games will continue as scheduled Thursday evening and law enforcement is expected to increase patrols in the area moving forward.

Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman released the following statement about the shooting:

I am saddened and shocked by last night’s shooting that occurred at New Hanover County’s Long Leaf Park. Fortunately, there were no injuries and I appreciate the quick response of our law enforcement. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating and plans to have more law enforcement presence at the park in the coming days and weeks.

I know there were many families and children at the park last night for baseball games and to play, and that this was scary and traumatizing for so many of them. I want all of you who were at the park, and our entire community, to know that we will continue to work hard to ensure our parks are safe, and we will work with our law enforcement partners so that an incident like this doesn’t happen again. We have to do more to address gun violence and end this community problem. Long Leaf Park is beloved by so many and our team is committed to keep it safe for everyone.

District Attorney Ben David released the following statement about the shooting:

Last night’s gunfire at Long Leaf Park has shaken us all. This is yet another example of innocent people being caught in the crossfire of illegal gun activity within our city. When gunfire erupts in a crowded place there is great potential for harm, particularly, in this instance, to children. Justice officials rely upon the cooperation of witnesses to apprehend suspects and convict them in a courtroom. At this time, the witnesses in closest proximity to the gunfire have not come forward to participate in this investigation. We are asking for your help to identify those who put so many lives at risk last night. Without the cooperation of witnesses, the sanctity of our public spaces for families to gather will continue to be compromised. This violence must end, and every member of our community must do their part to ensure that no more harm is created. When these crimes are charged, my office will prosecute these offenders to the fullest extent allowed by law.

WWAY is working to learn more information surrounding the shooting. This story will be updated.