Winston-Salem homicide rate increases

Winston-Salem homicide rate increases

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem family continues to mourn the loss of their loved one.


What You Need To Know

Nashawn Sanders was killed in a drive-by shooting in Winston-Salem in April

According to Sanders’ family, his murder has not been solved

Sanders was big on giving back to his community and feeding the homeless on his birthday


“There’s never been a time where you couldn’t say that something was going on he wouldn’t show up, whether it was something for your family, something for your friends or something you just wanted to do, and you told him about it, he was gone. Remember, he was a very genuine person,” said Michelle Myers, Nashawn Sanders’ best friend.

Sanders’ friends and family celebrated what would have been his 33rd birthday this week. His girlfriend, Alesia Pope, says he was killed in a drive-by shooting in April.

“It definitely feels different, ’cause of course we would want him to be here, but we are just trying to keep his memory and his spirit around,” Pope said.

Sanders is one of the 40 homicide victims in Winston-Salem this year. Pope says he wasn’t the intended target but an innocent bystander, and his killer hasn’t been caught.

“Kind of like a empty little feeling just knowing that somebody is still out there that is responsible for it happening and things like that. And just knowing that he didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t for him. So, that makes us want to solve the case even more, get justice for him so his mom can, you know, have a little piece of mind,” Pope said.

Winston-Salem recorded the 40th homicide Monday morning, compared to 30 in 2020. In Durham, the murder rate is up 22% compared to last year, setting a new record.

To keep Sanders’ generous spirit alive, Pope picked up where he left off organizing a community day to feed the homeless in his honor.

“He was selfless. He always put people before him and always looked out for people in any way that he could, in the best way that he could,” Pope said. “It’s something for his family to remember him by, something where we can all come together and just have a good time and just give back something that he will do.”

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