SWANSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) — In the wake of recent gun violence across the nation, the Town of Swansboro Chamber of Commerce held a safety discussion Thursday night.

Inside First Baptist Church Swansboro, panelists talked to attendees about gun violence.

“We had the sheriffs from both Carteret and Onslow County, Asa Buck and Hans Miller, Kay Zimarino, the principal of Croatan High School … and the Kidwell family who tragically lost their 22-year-old son due to suicide a few months ago in Swansboro,” said Mike McHugh, executive director of the Swansboro Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Kidwell family said more mental health treatment options and resources would be a step forward.

“Currently, we do not have a safe place that these young people feel that they will retreat to in a time of crisis,” Wendie Kidwell said. “The other goal for Ricky’s Retreat is to provide a resource center. There are resources but sometimes when you are going through the crisis, you don’t have them right in front of you. And it is our goal to bring the resources together so that other families may find them in one place.”


“We’d like to be known as the friendly city by the sea,” McHugh said. “And that’s what our one of our Chamber’s missions is. We don’t want to be known as a town where a mass shooting or violent act took place like we’ve seen around the United States recently.”