Gun Violence Concerns Discussed at May TPNA Meeting

By Sam Griffith

A young man was fatally shot at 2am on April 28  near the intersection of Morgan and Watts Streets. This was the fourth shooting and second shooting death since last fall in this area adjacent to Trinity Park. Concerned neighbors discussed these shootings at the May TPNA Board meeting, held at the park on Wednesday, May 1.

Neighbor Dan Jewell opened the discussion by describing the area and context where the shootings occurred.  Each weekend, three nightclubs in the vicinity — Shooters, The Living Room, and Justin’s — draw crowds of up to 1000 people.  After the clubs close at 2 am, people gather outside at the site of the former Papa John’s where food trucks continue to serve food late into the night.  

Several Lamond Avenue neighbors recounted hearing gunfire on multiple occasions and even having stray bullets enter homes.  

In response to the shootings, neighbor Scott Schuett has been talking to business people in the area and has cultivated relationships with the police assigned to this locale.  Scott believes, and others agreed, that the number of police officers present during these events was insufficient to keep the peace and diffuse tensions in the crowd.  Scott felt that this was a symptom of many vacant spots in the Police Department rolls and low salaries for Durham police officers and other first responders. City Council member Carl Rist, also at the meeting, noted that the forthcoming City budget will include a 14% raise for police.   

The TPNA Board discussed several potential actions we could take to address the problem, including:

  • Contacting the owners of the former Papa John’s space and request that they not allow the space to be used for late-night food truck business.
  • Finding out what Raleigh is doing as it wrestles with similar issues on Glenwood Avenue.
  • Requesting a meeting with the City Manager or other City representatives

The Board will revisit this issue at the June 5 TPNA Board meeting and thanks Scott Schuett for his tireless and thoughtful work on this issue.

Advocacy, Health and safety, Neighborhood concerns, TPNA