“This is ridiculous, and this community should be outraged,” the police chief said.
A search is underway in North Carolina on Tuesday for assailants who shot and killed four mourners, including a 6-year-old child and a teenager, during an outdoor life service celebration for a homicide victim , according to the police.
Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams has asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspect or suspects in the shooting, which came amid a spike in gun violence in major cities across the country.
“Six-year-olds are supposed to get hurt from falling off bicycles, tripping and falling, not from gunshots,” an emotional Williams said in a video statement. “Whoever did this, you’re a filthy coward and you shouldn’t be able to look at yourself in the mirror every day.”
The shooting unfolded around 6:40 p.m. Sunday in northwest Wilmington, where a group was holding a life service celebration at the location where a 33-year-old man was fatally shot Jan. 27, a said Williams.
“They fired shots into a crowd of people, and the result was four people were hit, including a child,” Williams said.
He said officers were alerted by a ShotSpotter gunshot detection system, and when they arrived at the scene, they first found two men with gunshot wounds. At the scene, officers found two other people who had been shot, including the 6-year-old child and a 16-year-old boy, Williams said.
The teenager was seriously injured, while the other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Williams said.
“It’s important that we get these people and put them in jail,” Williams said.
He asked anyone with knowledge of the shooting or the shooters to contact police, adding that anonymous information may be shared with investigators through the police department’s phone line.
“We are asking for the community’s help in identifying who did this,” Williams said. “It’s ridiculous, and this community should be outraged.”
The shooting came as the country grapples with a series of high-profile shootings in major cities, including New York where two police officers died after being shot last month when responding to a domestic call, and in Virginia where two other police officers were shot dead on February 1 while confronting a gunman at Bridgewater College.
According to Gun Violence Archive, an online site that tracks shootings across the country, 32 children aged 11 or younger have been shot and killed in incidents across the country this year, and 75 others have been injured.