Thursday, June 8, 2023

‘Violence begets violence’: WPD captain speaks about drive-by shooting that left one dead, another in critical condition

A string of shootings over the last few days in Wilmington have police officers and detectives working overtime, according to Captain Thomas Tilmon. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — At a press briefing Thursday evening, Cpt. Thomas Tilmon, who oversees Wilmington Police Department’s criminal investigations division, said officers arrived within minutes to the 800 block of South 13th Street in response to a drive-by shooting that took place right before 5:30 p.m. Upon arrival, they found two female victims were shot.

CPR measures were performed on one victim, who officers found lying on the sidewalk. She died at the scene, according to Tilmon. The other victim was transported to Novant’s New Hanover Regional Medical Center and remains in critical condition.

Names of the victims will not be released until family members are notified.

Tilmon said witnesses already have provided “good information and good leads” in the preliminary stages of WPD’s investigation. He expressed there is no danger to the public at large. Yet, the recent uptick in shootings, he said, has led Chief Donny Williams to put more manpower on the streets and on the investigation, from detectives to special operation officers to canine officers.

“Everyone’s working extra hours right now,” Tilmon said. “This has already been a long week for me. We anticipate a long weekend and a long week next week. And the officers and detectives that are at the Wilmington Police Department all know what we’re facing next week, in light of, you know, recent events.”

Tilmon was speaking to the double homicide in Ogden, which happened near the Middle Sound area over the weekend. The murders took place at the home of George Taylor III, COO of TRU Colors Brewing, which operates with a social mission to employ active, rival gang members to provide economic opportunities and decrease street violence.

RELATED: 4 people, 2 dead, 1 call: 911 audio reveals new details of double homicide at TRU Colors COO’s home

READ MORE: ‘Don’t retaliate. Report’: $3k reward offered in Wilmington’s double homicide case, linked to TRU Colors

Though Taylor wasn’t injured in the double homicide, 29-year-old validated gang member Koredreese Robert Tyson and 21-year-old Bri-yanna Williams were killed. It also left another 21-year-old female victim, whose name has been withheld, wounded and hospitalized; she has since been released.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Ogden case.

“I don’t know that we’re expecting more violence,” Tilmon clarified to news media.

His statement comes after WPD was called to 5th and Grace streets on Wednesday shortly after noon Thursday. A shooting occurred when occupants in one car opened fire at another occupied vehicle; bullets also hit a parked, unoccupied car, in addition to a third vehicle. No one was injured, and the case is being investigated with the help of the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office as well.

There has yet to be indication from local authorities that any of these shootings are connected.

“But anytime you have violence, like what happened out in Ogden, that typically does trigger additional violence,” Tilmon said, “which is why Chief Williams bolstered our personnel as he did.”

Tilmon said he couldn’t comment on motive or details about any ongoing investigation. Nor would he say anything about activities or events the department expects to encounter in coming days: “Chief Williams doesn’t want me to discuss tactics we’re planning for in specific detail, so I’m not at liberty to discuss.”

He said the most pressing message to convey to the community is for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. More so, Tilmon urged the violence to stop.

“Violence begets violence — vengeance and street justice are never the answer,” he said. “Taking justice into your own hands is never a solution to anything that goes on in the city or the county.”

WPD released below images of a car possibly involved in the shooting — believed to be a light-color Lexus four-door with a sunroof. The department is asking the public to help identify it and the owner. Anyone with information on the shooting on 13th Street should call (910) 343-3609 or text a tip by sending an anonymous text message to 847411 (tip411) and including the keyword “WPDNC.”

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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