Two fatal nursing home fights added to list of Wilmington’s 2020 homicides
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington police are releasing more information about the number of homicides reported within the city so far this year.
On Monday, the Wilmington Police Department sent out a news release stating the murder of Charles Ross Jr. was the 13th homicide of 2020. However, police are now saying there were two more incidents following it so Ross’ death is actually the 15th homicide.
This year, WPD says detectives have investigated two incidents where elderly dementia patients at nursing facilities became involved in physical altercations.
The first incident happened on February 8 at The Commons at Brightmore on 41st Street. Police say a 94-year-old woman was pushed by a man also living at the facility, causing her to fall and sustain injuries. She underwent surgery and died from complications on Feb. 14.
The second incident occurred on September 6 at Spring Arbor of Wilmington on John D. Barry Drive. An 80-year-old man was assaulted by another man living at the facility, according to police. He was transported to the hospital and died on Sep. 12.
Detectives were in contact with Adult Protective Services (APS) throughout each investigation, and add that they have taken over any investigation into these care facilities.
“Due to the unusual nature of these cases, our agency had to seek clarification from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on whether they should be classified as assaults or homicides,” WPD said. “The FBI advised that they should be classified as homicides, so they have been reclassified and will be counted as such in the department’s annual data.”
Police says due to the diminished mental capacity of both suspects, the District Attorney’s office declined prosecution in both instances, so they will not go to trial.
In 2018 and 2019, WPD reports there were nine homicides. In 2017, the police department says there were 20.