Greensboro, NC. – Law enforcement officials are still searching for a motive and the suspect(s) of a brazen daytime shooting outside the Guilford County Courthouse in bustling downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.
Authorities do not know why gunfire erupted on Monday at 11:30 in the morning or who was responsible for the shooting.
Both the courthouse and the nearby sheriff’s office were placed on lockdown after the buildings were impacted by gunfire.
Early unconfirmed reports stated that apparently the shots had come from a vehicle and the victims were on foot at the South Eugene entrance to the courthouse.
Local news channel WXII12 reported:
“Investigators said their preliminary information suggests the shooting was targeted.”
Info about the shooting outside the courthouse in Greensboro today. https://t.co/Zq8C3yjRmo
— Jamie (@JamieBiggsNR) November 16, 2020
Greensboro Police Chief Brian James said:
“It certainly would be unusual for a random act like this to occur in broad daylight.”
Some reports describe one of the three victims being in critical condition. Other unconfirmed reports advise that one suspect is in custody.
Chief James said there was a lot of return gunfire, including a company police officer who engaged one of the suspects.
At a press conference covered by Fox 8, Greensboro Police Chief James provided a briefing which echoed his deep concern:
“I am very worried about it. This is insane to have a shooting in broad daylight like this in the middle of downtown.
“[It’s] a heavily populated area, people going to court, people going to work, people just trying to live.
“This is absolutely insane, and I am very worried about it.”
According to WFMYNews2, the local CBS affiliate reported that the windows of the nearby Guilford County Sheriff’s Office were shattered by errant rounds. No one was injured inside.
Investigators had initially thought that the rounds were not fired intentionally at the building, but it was unfortunately in the backdrop.
“Lori Poag, Public Information Officer with GCSO, said no one inside the building was hurt. She said she doesn’t believe the shots were aimed at the sheriff’s office and that the building was just in the line of fire.”
Civilian staff were sent home for the day while the office remained on lockdown.
Alerts to the public were sent out via the public safety social media channels telling people to avoid the area. Greensboro EMS advised via Twitter:
“AVOID THE COURTHOUSE AREA IN DOWNTOWN GREENSBORO DUE TO AN EVOLVING INCIDENT. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE PROVIDED AS IT IS AVAILABLE.”
And for good reason. WXII12 meteorologist Dave Aiken was caught in the crossfire of this attempted murder scene which caused serious damage to his vehicle.
Police investigators are still in the process of reviewing video surveillance and interviewing witnesses. Police investigators are hopeful that they have located and identified all victims.
Three wounded in shooting outside Greensboro courthouse https://t.co/Y6FHi0EIC6
— Aaron King (@coachkingdango) November 17, 2020
In another news release police said:
“The investigation has revealed thus far that multiple individuals were exchanging gunfire in close proximity to the South Eugene Street entrance to the courthouse.
“A company police officer witnessed the shooting in progress and engaged an armed subject by discharging his weapon.
“Police are still in the process of investigation to determine the sequence of events.”
Police have not taken anyone into custody.
Authorities are asking if anyone in the community has any information regarding the shooting to contact their investigators or call Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.
In an updated version of their earlier report WXII12 quoted Chief James:
“We know there are some additional folks out there that may have some information that may help us piece this together.”
Greensboro Police are acting fast and working hard to solve this crime and restore a sense of security to their community.
1 dead after shooting outside Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro https://t.co/4ZJzmJsd0t
— LATEST WORLD NEWS (@pathofex) November 17, 2020
Earlier this morning it was reported that one of the victims of yesterday’s shooting had died at the hospital. The victim was identified as 20-year-old Avion Imeen McLean of Laurinburg.
One additional victim is still in critical condition. The third victim is stable and did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
There are now 53 homicides in city of Greensboro this year.
Law Enforcement Today will keep you updated as this investigation continues to unfold.
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Shootings in broad daylight are on the rise. LET reported on another a few months ago in Massachusetts.
With Boston homicides exploding, the police commissioner says you can thank the DA who released criminals
August 7, 2020
BOSTON, MA – A man in his mid-20s was shot dead at 9 am yesterday in the Mattapan neighborhood in Boston. According to CBSN Boston, the unidentified victim was found dead in a driveway at a tire shop, and Boston Police are searching for his killer.
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross placed the blame for a “recent uptick in crime” squarely on early prisoner release in response to COVID.
“When you release and keep releasing dangerous persons to the neighborhood. . . it just bolsters the confidence of repeat violent offenders.”
Gross also told Boston 25 News,
“I’m not making stuff up folks. I’m a 37-year veteran. I can tell you what the mentality on the street is and so can several people in the neighborhood.
“They can tell you right now that the mentality is that ‘we can do what we want.’”
Mattapan resident Royce White, who lives next door to the crime scene and heard the shots fired, appears to agree with Gross’ assessment of local criminal mentality and activity. She said,
“I would like to say that I was shocked but I really wasn’t.
“A little dismayed is the word.”
White added her frustration with repeat offenders to those of the Commissioner, saying,
“These guys who clearly just live to commit crimes are being let free to do the same thing over and over again because there are no consequences.”
Local resident Peter Papadogiannis, who owns the property across from the tire shop, also voiced his frustration with increasing crime. He said,
“It has to stop. Its crazy.”
He went on to say,
“Things should be getting better instead of worse but to me it looks like it’s getting worse.”
Regarding the early releases and repeat offenders, Commissioner Gross pointed the finger squarely at controversial DA Rachael Rollins, who earlier this year decided to release offenders from jail early, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rollins’ office claimed that the DA only called for release of “individuals held in custody who are vulnerable because of their health, age, socio-economic status, or circumstances, but pose no meaningful risk to public safety.”
However, Commissioner Gross insists that it is “dangerous persons” who are being released to offend again and again.
Being soft on crime appears to be the norm for DA Rollins, who in 2019 stated,
“I don’t believe accountability has to equal incarceration. There are many ways we can hold people accountable without putting them in jail.”
In 2019, Rollins produced a no-prosecute list that indicated certain offenses that were to be dismissed outright or addressed with community service.
Those offenses included:
– wanton or malicious destruction of property
– drug possession and drug possession with intent to distribute
– resisting arrest
– receiving stolen property
– disorderly conduct
Rollins also ordered police to refuse to cooperate with ICE, and to notify her if ICE or DHS was making inquiries about a person’s residence status.
Furthermore, the DA’s policy has personal recognizance as its default “presumptive recommendation.”
Also, with pleas, incarceration is to be considered a “last resort.”
Currently available crime data show that Boston has a violent crime rate of 6.55 per 1000 residents, “one of the highest in the nation.” In comparison, Massachusetts as a whole has a violent crime rate of 3.38 per 1000 residents.
Boston also shows 399 crimes per square mile, as opposed to the entire state of Massachusetts, which has 21 crimes per square mile.
Boston homicide statistics certainly bolster the concerns of Commissioner Gross and local citizens regarding an increase in violent crime. In January 2020, there were three homicides. In February, there were seven. In April, there was one. In May, there were seven. In June, there were five.
In July, there were fifteen homicides.
So far in early August, there have already been two.
Commissioner Gross, however, is not letting early releases stop the efforts of Boston Police to hold criminals accountable and the community safe.
Through CBS Boston, he had a message for repeat offenders:
“I don’t care how many times you get let go, we will lock you up again because our neighborhoods deserve to be safe.”
Gross indicated that he felt the public can prove to be part of the solution in the problem of early releases and increasing crime in Boston.
He encouraged the community to get out and vote, saying,
“Remember folks, your vote counts. Your voice counts and your vote counts.”