EMS feels strain with increase in Durham shootings

11 April 2022

Durham is on pace this year to set a new high for the number of shootings.

From Jan. 1 through April 2, city data shows the Bull City has had 182 shootings, 60 people have been shot and 10 of them were killed.

At least 10 people were shot during the past week in Durham:

Duke Health leadership said that Duke University Hospital treated nine people for gunshot wounds from April 7-9.

“The loss of life and the diminished quality of life that gunshot victims, their families and their communities endure are immeasurable,” Duke Health leadership wrote in a statement. “We are also deeply concerned for the emotional impact these cases have on the emergency department doctors, nurses and staff members who work valiantly to save lives.

“We are eager to partner with our community to bring an end to these tragic events, which are on the rise in Durham and across the country. Duke Health is committed to collaborating to help find solutions that will have a broad and lasting impact.”

Durham Police Department shooting data:

  • Shootings
    • By April 2, 2020: 178
    • By April 2, 2021: 170
    • By April 2, 2022: 182
  • People shot
    • By April 2, 2020: 54
    • By April 2, 2021: 53
    • By April 2, 2022: 60
  • Deadly shootings
    • By April 2, 2020: Six
    • By April 2, 2021: Seven
    • By April 2, 2022: 10
  • Non-fatal shootings
    • By April 2, 2020: 48
    • By April 2, 2021: 46
    • By April 2, 2022: 50

Durham County EMS Chief Paramedic Mark Lockhart says he sometimes worries whether first responders will have enough ambulances to send. The department has 25 vacancies on staff, which means about 15% of positions are open.

“I think, as we’ve seen with the weekend, and those types of calls increasing, we could certainly run into a situation where we may not have the resources to match the demand,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart said the department calls it a “golden 10 minutes,” meaning they want to be at the scene of an emergency for 10 minutes or less. He acknowledged resources are tight, and that agencies are competing for the same labor pool.

“We do sometimes have a reduced level of staffing from what we would like to have and that obviously can impact our response times,” Lockhart said.

WRAL News requested an interview with Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews, but she declined. However, WRAL News is planning to interview Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal.

A DoorDash driver who used to live in Durham agreed to speak with WRAL News, but not want to be named.

“I just feel afraid when I’m in Durham sometimes,” she said.

The woman’s car was stolen last month as she ran up to an apartment for delivery. She provided a photo of what the car looks like now, burned and covered in bullet holes.

A search warrant shows police say after the car was stolen, it was involved in a shooting and then set on fire.

“I think I could have taken them just stealing the car and maybe doing a few joy rides or something of that nature, but just to know that the car was involved in, they say a series of crimes, it’s sad and it’s scary at the same time,” the woman said.

A DoorDash driver's car was stolen in Durham. According to a search warrant, police say after the car was stolen, it was involved in a shooting and then set on fire.

The woman had moved away from Durham even before the incident.

“I feel like it has gotten very, very bad with crime,” the woman said of Durham.

Last year, Durham set a record for most homicides in a single calendar year.

This post was originally published on this site

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