Leaders speak out on recent uptick in violence


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – People in Kinston say they’re shocked after this weekend’s deadly shooting.

“We’ve seen an uptick in violent crime here in the city of Kinston in the last few weeks that has shocked the conscience of our community,” said Kinston Interim Police Chief, Tim Dilday.

It happened Saturday night at the Red Carpet Inn & Suites. One man was killed, while the other victim is currently in the hospital.

The shooting comes after two other recent violent crimes. Leaders are now looking at ways to combat violence in the city.

“We remain committed to working with our community leaders and community members in an attempt to solve these crimes as well as suppress further criminal activity,” said Chief Dilday

Councilwoman Kristal Suggs is proposing several initiatives. Her ideas include creating a task force of city leaders and community members. She’s also calling for the hiring of a city officer to share information with the public, and a stepped-up effort to build relationships between the city and Kinston businesses and organizations.

Mayor don hardy says these recent crimes are horrific, but the city is working to combat the issue.

“We must continue the work we are doing, continue investigating continue providing info to anonymous tips lines, continue to establish relationships with our law enforcement officers in our community and community-oriented policing. Those are the keys to success for our community,” said Hardy.

People are afraid crime could get in the way of Kinston’s efforts to grow and attract visitors.

“I wish that people would be more kind to each other and considerate and just help one another out instead of harming each other,” said Tonya Brookes, a Kinston resident.

Kinston Police Department will continue to investigate the shooting.

Councilwoman Suggs encourages people to get involved in the city’s efforts to keep Kinston safe.

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) The Councilwoman Kristal Suggs released a statement on the acts of violence in Kinston.

“I’m deeply troubled by the several acts of violence that have recently occurred in our community and am saddened for all of the people affected by these crimes that have occurred throughout Kinston,” said Councilwoman Suggs.

Suggs said that as a member of the Kinston City Council she will continue conversations with the Council, the Mayor, the City Manager and staff on several initiatives.

  • The creation of a task force of city leaders and community members to investigate and identify Kinston’s issues with violent crime, and eventually form a strategic plan for addressing it
  • The hiring of a permanent, full-time Public Information Officer for the City of Kinston to quickly and accurately disseminate news to our citizens and affected individuals, and build greater trust between the City, our departments, and the community
  • Strengthening the city’s relationship with other organizations, agencies, and businesses that are committed to community improvement and public safety; while also making the community more aware of their efforts and how to utilize them

If you see something suspicious or know anything you feel may be related to any of these acts of violence contact the Kinston Police Department Tips Line at 252-939-4020, or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers—which is an anonymous and secure process—at 252-523-4444.

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