Sunday, February 5, 2023

4 shot during life celebration of Wilmington homicide victim

A memorial on N. 31st St. honors Devin Williams.

WILMINGTON – Wilmington Police Department is investigating a multi-victim shooting that took place over the weekend during the life celebration of a recent homicide victim.

The incident occurred during a service remembering Devin Williams, who died last month at age 32. Williams was shot just after 5:30 p.m. in the 200 block of N. 31st Street on Jan. 27. He was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Just after 6:40 p.m. Sunday, officers arrived at the same location Devin Williams was struck in response to a notification on ShotSpotter, Wilmington’s gunshot detection system. They found multiple shooting victims: a 33-year-old male, a 36-year-old male, a 6-year-old boy and a 16-year-old male.

The victims were transported by EMS to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The teenager is in critical but stable condition, WPD reported, and the other three endured non-life-threatening injuries.

Police Chief Donny Williams filmed a statement and uploaded it to Facebook, in lieu of holding a press conference.

“6-year-old kids are supposed to be hurt from falling off bicycles … not from gunfire,” Donny Williams said. “Whoever did this, you are a low-down, dirty coward, and you shouldn’t be able to look at yourself in the mirror each day. It’s important that we get these individuals and we get them in jail where they need to sit at.”

WPD is asking anyone with information to call 910-343-3609 or text WPDNC to 847411. The Tip 411 app is available for anonymous reporting.

“I know there’s been some stir in the community that the tip service is not confidential. It is,” the chief assured. “We have no idea where the tips are coming from. You can tip us. You can call the front desk. Heck, they can call my office … Ask for me if you want to give me the information.”

This gun incident was the third on Sunday. The Wilmington Police Department also responded to shots fired at an apartment complex on Breezewood Drive. When officers arrived on the scene, shell casings were found around the complex, but no one was injured and the projectiles didn’t seem to pierce the units. Early in the morning, police responded to shots being fired outside a Waffle House in midtown. Six suspects were detained and a 19-year-old was arrested.

Just last week, the chief presented his end-of-year crime statistics to city council and reported crime in Wilmington reached its second-lowest point in a dozen years. Still, he recognized nationally more guns are on the streets.

In 2021 WPD investigated 15 homicides and reported 91 gun incidents, with 150 victims. ShotSpotter activated 1,409 alerts, compared to 1,462 in 2020 and 723 in 2019.


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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at alexandria@localdailymedia.com or on Twitter @alexsands_

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