Gun violence in Greensboro: Shattered households search justice and proceed to unfold peace
The family of two shot cousins from Greensboro are hoping the police will find the killer – just a story of gun violence in the city
GREENSBORO, NC – Greensboro’s grandfather Kendrick Gilbert says he’s still waiting for a phone call from his son asking him to go fishing. But he knows that a call will never come.
Gilbert’s son, Kendrick Gilbert Jr., was shot dead on September 2, 2019 when someone broke into his home on the 5500 block on West Market Street. The intruder also shot and killed Gilbert’s nephew, Christopher Parson, and shot and injured Parson’s wife and 1 month old girl.
“I miss my son. I miss my nephew very much. I miss their laughter, I miss them when they are around,” Gilbert told WFMY News 2 on Sunday.
The police have not yet made arrests on the case, but Gilbert and his family hope someone with information will come forward to bring the murderer of these two Greensboro cousins to justice.
“You have a murderer at large. You have someone out there killing people. Nobody in the community is safe until they get that person off the street. You need to be brought to justice,” Gilbert said.
“Spreading Peace and Assurance”
On Sunday, an event called the Center City Night of Inspiration aimed to bring hope to Greensboro in the face of crime and violence such as the family of Kendrick Gilbert Jr. and Christoper Parson experience.
“What better way to spread peace than through music?” said organizer Greg Drumwright. “I just hope that the sounds resonate in our city.”
Live music performances included The Holy Gang Tour, Greg Drumwright presenting singers and musicians ALIVE !, and THE UHOP CLOUDS OF HEAVEN, a 45-piece brass band.
Among those in attendance was Ingram Bell, a gun violence survivor in Greensboro.
Bell said she was shot in the head in 2011 when bullets rained on her car. As a result, she lost her job and had to undergo surgery for a brain aneurysm while she was pregnant.
“After 20 weeks (pregnant), I had brain surgery and we saved my daughter and myself. I couldn’t be anesthetized so I had to do local anesthesia,” said Bell.
Bell still suffers from headaches, allergies, swelling and chronic pain today.
But there is no stopping them from stopping the spread of further violence.
Bell is part of the Cure Violence team, a community program to contain gun violence in two areas of East Greensboro for one year – Smith Homes and portions of Martin Luther King Junior Drive. Just last week, the city council approved $ 500,000 for the program, which is expected to begin in January 2020.
“A decrease in violence, economic stability for our community, social justice for blacks and browns, less police brutality – this is a perfect imperfect world for me,” said Bell.
The previous Sunday, Bell joined the Moms Demand Action Greensboro Chapter at their monthly meeting at the McGirt-Horton Branch Library.
Bell and another gun violence woman from Greensboro spoke about the chapter and shared their personal experiences and how the Cure Violence program will help specific neighborhoods.
How bad is gun violence in Greensboro?
WFMY News 2 received selected crime statistics from the Greensboro Police Department on Sunday.
Greensboro Police Department is not tracking the number of shootings in the city, but rather the number of incidents in which a gun was present, according to a spokesman.
The latest data for 2019, dated October 13, shows that Greensboro had committed 398 major attacks when a firearm was present. Compare that to the same time in 2018 – police records showed 243 serious attacks with a gun present.
For all murders measured by Greensboro Police, there have been 35 murders so far in 2019. Compare this to the number of simultaneous murders over the past two years:
- 34 murders in 2018 as of October 20
- 38 murders in 2017 through October 20