On Monday night, four people were shot outside a motel in Raleigh, leaving one dead and three wounded, according to Raleigh police. And just last month, a shooting downtown left one man dead and one woman injured. Days before that instance, an argument devolved into a shooting in a Raleigh Food Lion parking lot. These shootings are part of a larger trend: gun violence is on the rise in Raleigh.
Today, the News & Observer reported that in 2021, 26 people were fatally shot in the city — up from 22 in 2020 and 19 in 2019, according to Police Department statistics. Non-fatal shootings in Raleigh also increased by 25 percent between 2020 and 2021.
This rise in gun violence underscores the need for violence intervention work in North Carolina. Local violence reduction, intervention, and prevention programs can help reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily-impacted communities. The North Carolina legislature should use funds allocated to the state by the American Rescue Plan Act to support and expand violence intervention programs to help community-based partnerships and non-profit organizations conduct life-saving work throughout the state. More information on violence intervention programs is available here.
There are programs already active across North Carolina implementing evidence-informed strategies to reduce gun violence, such as Bull City United, which is implementing the Cure Violence model of gun violence prevention. Cure violence street outreach programs and other community-led public safety strategies have been shown to reduce gun violence in impacted communities like Raleigh. The work of violence intervention groups like Bull City United is critical to curbing gun violence.
In an average year, 1,470 people die by guns in North Carolina, and 3,407 more are wounded. Every year, an average of 571 people in North Carolina die by gun homicides. Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the state. Gun violence costs North Carolina $9.6 billion each year, of which $418.0 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in North Carolina is available here.