'Everybody's carrying guns': Weekend violence leaves multiple teens shot in Wilmington, Delaware

ByRebeccah Hendrickson WPVI logo
Monday, July 13, 2020
Wilmington weekend violence leaves multiple teens shot
Weekend violence in Wilmington leaves multiple teens shot.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Seven people have been shot in Wilmington since Saturday night, six of them are teenagers or children.

On Saturday night, five children under the age of 15 were shot on a school playground at 6th and Pine streets, the youngest victim was 10 years old.

On Sunday night, a 17-year-old was shot on the 800 block of West 23rd Street, and a 29-year-old was shot on the 700 block of West 4th Street early Monday morning.

"We still have a frightening number of guns, everybody's carrying guns," said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki.

Action News' data journalism team says shootings in Wilmington are up 40% from the year before.

Purzycki says children in the city need more resources to keep them from becoming involved in violence.

"We have young gangs of kids who are behaving in a way that is just grossly unacceptable and obviously it's not only impacting just those individuals," he said.

At the Saturday night playground shooting, investigators say they believe it was a shootout, after recovering shell casings from multiple different guns and some of the victims were caught in the middle.

"I feel as though this particular neighborhood has been neglected for decades now," said city councilwoman Michelle Harlee, who represents the 4th district which includes the east side neighborhood where the shooting happened.

She says that the playground should have been closed after dusk and the kids should not have been there.

"You have poverty, you have crime that they're dealing with. Then, on top of that, you have a pandemic. These are the types of things that can happen," she said.

"Martin Luther King said it best. He said the voice of the unheard is a riot and the youth have been crying out for years but it's been going on deaf ears," said Mahkieb Booker, who represents Black Lives Matter in Wilmington.

He says the group is planning a march against violence on Saturday and he hopes to reach out to young people by "...going out into the community, showing them that we care for them and love them but also give them a lesson in our history," he said.

The march will begin at 12 p.m. on 24th and Market streets.

All seven of the victims from this weekend's shootings are recovering.