KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Kinston Mayor Don Hardy, other officials and local pastors urged the community to help put an end to gun violence Monday, following a recent series of shootings throughout the city.

They shared that message in front of Kinston City Hall on Monday.

“This is a friendly city, good people. And people didn’t just come together and talk and communicate. And that makes a better community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Antonio Hardy.

From July 3-5, three Kinston shootings happened within a period of 48 hours. Two people were killed and three were injured in those shootings. Those shootings are under investigation.

“You never can stop crime, but you can put it a dent into the violent crime that takes place in any community,” Don Hardy said.

Kinston Interim Police Chief Jenee Spencer said officers have already seized more guns in 2022 than they did in 2021.

Officials are encouraging Kinston residents to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

“We’re responding to the community’s needs,” Spencer said. “And we’re trying to do it in larger numbers to really make an impact and say, hey, if this is where we’re having problems, we’re going to be here, we’re going to respond, and we’re going to help those citizens have a better neighborhood because they deserve that.”

Anyone with any information regarding the shootings should contact the Kinston Police Department’s Tips Line at 252-939-4020 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.