Raleigh Police Chief Pledges More Patrols, Cameras To Tackle Rise In Violent Crime

By Aaron Sánchez-Guerra and

Julian Shen-Berro

A teenager shot Tuesday night died from his injuries, and two 17-year-olds are in custody, the Raleigh Police Department reported.

Miguel Bejaran, 19, was shot around 7:30 p.m. in the 4200 block of Green Road in Northeast Raleigh, officials said in a news release. Raleigh police reported Wednesday that Bejaran had died from his injuries.

A 911 caller who lived in the area described hearing five gunshots from Green Road Park. Police later said the shooting took place in the park’s parking lot.

Police said a follow-up investigation led them to take the teens into custody in connection with the killing.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said information provided by On Point Protection Agency, a Raleigh-based private security company, helped police “quickly detain” and arrest the two juvenile suspects.

“Our detectives worked extremely hard overnight and through the night and into the day to be able to piece the case together, and although this investigation is ongoing, we are very happy that two arrests have been made,” Patterson said Wednesday afternoon at a press conference at the park.

The teen’s death prompted Patterson to hold the media briefing to address the incident as well as rising gun violence in the city and her concerns about how more young people have been connected with the city’s crimes.

Patterson declined to comment on possible motives for Tuesday night’s shooting and didn’t offer additional details, saying it’s part of an ongoing investigation.

“Those who live in this neighborhood can feel assured that we have those individuals responsible for this,” Patterson said.

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Rise in violence

At least 24 people have died from gun violence in Raleigh this year. As of early November, gun crimes and fatal shootings were outpacing 2020 and 2019, The N&O reported previously.

The chief said gun-related crimes have been trending among younger people and said the pandemic was just one factor in that increase.

“One of the things is coming out of this pandemic, we’re still having students doing online classes, they’re not back to school completely so that gives them a lot of time,” Patterson said. “They’re idle, they’re out and about, they’re out in the evenings. There are not enough events to keep them occupied.”

Collaborating with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Wake County and the Raleigh-Apex NAACP are among efforts for programming “to provide meaningful alternatives to crime” that can work to prevent violence among youth, Patterson said.

Gerald Givens Jr., president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP, also spoke at the press conference about partnering with other organizations to encourage elected officials to create violence prevention programs. Those organizations include the North Carolina Council of Churches, MomsRising and North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Givens said.

Patterson spoke of other efforts her department has taken to combat crime. She said the department has confiscated 783 firearms in Raleigh this year, a 38% increase since a year ago.

Nearly half of the aggravated assaults in Raleigh have included a firearm, she said.

“We have really been increasing our patrols and our visibility in our neighborhoods and our communities, particularly in those locations where we’re seeing crime and high violence — our nightclubs, also our sweepstakes locations,” Patterson added.

She repeated a theme she has said at previous press conference.

”I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” she said. “If you commit violent crime in our city, we’re coming after you. We’re not going to be tolerant.”

Police ask anyone with information about the Tuesday shooting to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP or go to the CrimeStoppers website at www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for instructions on how to report a tip online or by text message. Those who provide anonymous tips that help solve cases can earn cash rewards.

This story was originally published November 17, 2021 10:14 AM.

Source : https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article255892081.html

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