Durham teen fatally shot as leaders look to curb city’s violent crime

Durham teen fatally shot as leaders look to curb city's violent crime

Jeremiah Williams, a 19-year-old who was one of 169 people shot in Durham through November 11, tragically lost his life to gunfire. Sherard Johnson, a nonprofit president and basketball coach who had worked with Williams for eight years, described him as someone who loved life, people, and was loyal and genuine. Johnson emphasized that Williams, a talented basketball player with plans to attend school in January, should not have been in such a situation.

Durham City Council members are scheduled to review the city’s third-quarter crime statistics on Tuesday. Williams’ death is one of 35 homicides reported from January through September this year. Other crime statistics for this period include 118 rapes, 366 robberies, and 884 aggravated assaults. A comparison with previous years is as follows:

  • 2022: 32 homicides, 97 rapes, 465 robberies, and 890 aggravated assaults
  • 2021: 38 homicides, 91 rapes, 362 robberies, and 1,108 aggravated assaults
  • Three-year average: 35 homicides, 102 rapes, 398 robberies, and 691 aggravated assaults

Property crime data for the first nine months of the year includes:

  • 2023: 1,066 burglaries, 5,751 larcenies, and 1,459 motor vehicle thefts
  • 2022: 922 burglaries, 5,322 larcenies, and 570 motor vehicle thefts
  • 2021: 1,099 burglaries, 5,408 larcenies, and 409 motor vehicle thefts
  • Three-year average: 1,029 burglaries, 5,494 larcenies, and 836 motor vehicle thefts

In comparison to the first nine months of 2022, shooting incidents have increased by 17% this year, while the number of people shot has decreased by 22%. The report also indicates that from June through September, Durham police took an average of six minutes and 42 seconds to respond to emergency calls, slightly exceeding the department’s targeted response time of five minutes and 48 seconds.

Sherard Johnson highlighted the need for adults in Durham to do more for the youth, advocating for increased partnerships to create opportunities and programs for young people. He emphasized that without adequate services and programs, young individuals may revert to negative influences in their daily lives.