Western N.C. Sees Upturn In Gang Activity

Law enforcement officers say gang activity in western North Carolina isn't confined to Asheville.

Henderson County Sheriff's Det. Doug Hill says authorities there have identified as many as seven gangs. They have also identified assaults, assaults with weapons, vandalism and graffiti.

Officers in Haywood County say they are noticing possible gang activity, and there have been several instances of turf marking in
McDowell County.

Asheville police are blaming gangs for a string of recent high-profile shootings.

On Friday, they charged a 14-year-old boy with attempted first-degree murder in a gang shooting. A 12-year-old boy was critically injured after being shot in the head, and two 17-year-old girls suffered minor injuries. The three were not targets in the shooting.

Those shootings led the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office to form a gang task force to begin gathering data and reports on possible gang activity.