(DURHAM, N.C.) — A 9-year-old boy was sitting in a car when he was shot dead this week in Durham, N.C., sparking outrage and a renewed call to get guns off the street.
Zion Person was among five children and one adult in the car when a gunman opened fire from another vehicle, fatally hitting the 9-year-old just before 9 p.m. Sunday, according to the Durham Police Department.
An 8-year-old boy in the car was shot in the arm, police said. His injuries are non-life-threatening, police said.
The group was headed to buy snow cones at the time, according to ABC Raleigh station WTVD.
The slaying prompted Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis and Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead to call for an end to gun violence.
“This is another act of senseless violence that simply must be stopped,” Davis said in a statement.
Birkhead added, “The unthinkable is becoming normal — and I am committed to change that mindset.”
“I cannot emphasize enough: we must reduce gun violence in Durham County. Our community is much better than this,” Birkhead said in a statement. “We stand together with Mayor Steve Schewel, Police Chief Davis and the Durham Police Department to get guns off our streets and identify those responsible for this incident.”
Durham Mayor Steve Schewel held a moment of silence and renewed a call for gun legislation at a Monday night meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson tweeted.
Durham’s @MayorSchewel started our meeting tonight with a moment of silence for Zion Person, a 9 year old child who was shot and killed in Durham last night, and renewed our call for sensible legislation to prevent the proliferation of guns and gun violence in the U.S.
— Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson (@ProTemJillianJ) August 19, 2019
Meanwhile, the shooter — who was in a burgundy Honda Accord with tinted windows — remains at large.
Investigators do not believe the gunfire was random, according to police. The shooting wasn’t believed to be road rage, police added.
“We are working aggressively to identify the people involved,” Davis said. “I am asking anyone with information to come forward and speak with our investigators.”
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