Kinston Mayor and police chief react to string of weekend shootings

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 11:42 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -Frustration is one of many feelings throughout Kinston, in the wake of three shootings that happened this past weekend.

The first shooting happened Saturday night at 800 Herbert Drive, where police arrested and charged 40-year-old Christopher Gordon with attempted murder after police say he shot a woman.

The second shooting happened after a party at 1609 West Vernon Avenue early Sunday morning, leaving two people suffering from gunshot wounds.

A third shooting Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Nobles Lane and Stadiem Drive left a man dead. Police arrested the alleged gunman 18-year-old Taquan Darden Monday afternoon in Georgia.

Residents are now worried, and Kinston Interim Police Chief Keith Goyette said city leaders understand.

“We feel their sense of urgency as well, it’s a part of the job for us but it’s unfortunate,” Goyette said. “We want to provide the safest city and community for our citizens, our elderly and our youth.”

While police say the shootings aren’t connected, Kinston Mayor Don Hardy believes it goes back to people speaking up.

“Thing is if you see something say something and this is where we are,” Hardy said. “Trying to figure out how to implement things to help reduce crime.”

And despite the weekend’s shootings, Goyette said he wants residents to know they’re working hard to keep them safe day by day.

“This year alone as of today we’ve seized over 240 illegal firearms,” Goyette said. “Last year for the whole year of 2021, we seized just shy of 190 so our officers are extremely proactive.”

All three weekend shootings remain under investigation.