ONLY ON 3: Still no arrests one month after child shot

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been one month since a little girl was shot while she slept the morning she was going to wake up for her first day of school. Even with a reward of $15,000, there have been no arrests.

Wilmington Police said a 9-year-old was shot in the left hand while she slept in a home in the 1500-block of Railroad Street August 24. There were several adults and an infant also in the home at the time. Lt. Yolanda Sparrow said no one will come forward about this shooting even though the reward was tripled. She said in this case no lives were lost, but there could have been.

“Anybody could get hit, and it was proven by the 9-year-old innocent child sleeping in her bed preparing herself for her first day of school the next day gets shot by the bullet,” Sparrow said.

Peace 4 the Port founder Melissa Pinkoski agrees the issues with crime in Wilmington continue due to the fear of retaliation. She started the organization two years ago after her friend, Clifton Sykes, was shot and killed.

“We want to harmonize our community so we can walk peacefully or ride our bikes or drive through our community without any of the violence,” Pinkoski said.

Sparrow said the decrease in tips comes from a fear of retaliation, but she said WPD needs help from the community to solve these crimes.

“The largest percent of how we do our job and how we solve cases is through eye witnesses ,or just a lead or a follow-up, and without community support we’re crippled,” Sparrow said.

While both women agree fear is a big driver for the decrease in tips, Pinkoski said there are other factors.

“There’s more issues than just fighting against violence,” Pinkoski said. “It’s poverty.”

She added it starts with educating our children.

“We really need more communication,” Pinkoski said. “Communication is the key.”

“The community needs to speak up,” Sparrow agreed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Wilmington Police. Tips can be anonymous.

For more information on Peace 4 the Port, click here.

Categories: New Hanover, News

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