By Dr. Sinclair Grey III
Once again, gun violence has targeted another community. On Monday before 6pm, a gunman opened fire at a local basketball court in Rocky Mount, North Carolina behind the sanctuary of Word Tabernacle Church critically injuring one boy. Three others were hit, treated, and released. However, the one critically injured is 12-year-old, Nyreek Horne.
According to Rev. James Gailliard, the Pastor of Word Tabernacle Church, there were more than 15 gunshots before he ran outside. When he arrived outside, he saw Horne bleeding and went over to help the boy until help arrived. The bullet hit Nyreek in the eye and went out the back of his brain.
Rev. Gailliard said, ‘in our community, we do hear gunshots from time to time. But what was different this time was that it was so close and it was so many. I held him in my arms until the paramedics got there.’ As of Tuesday, Horne remained in critical condition.
Rocky Mount police have a vague description of the shooter. They are asking for anyone who has information about the shooting to contact local authorities.
Rocky Mount is a city with roughly 60,000 residents. It is located about 50 miles east of Raleigh, which sits along Interstate 95. Its location makes it a prime target for moving drugs and illegal guns between East Coast Cities. “In 2012, the most recent year for which FBI crime statistics are available, the homicide rate in Rocky Mount was more than twice that of New York City.”
Without a doubt, Rocky Mount is facing many of the same problems other larger cities are facing. Rev. Gailliard moved from Philadelphia to Rocky Mount to start his church. He and the church are involved with working with people in the community.
Questions surrounding whether the shooting was in retaliation to gang violence that happened recently in the area is currently being investigated.
A community that is troubled is looking for answers. A vigil was organized on Tuesday to pray for Horne’s recovery and to put an end to violence.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an inspirational speaker, motivator, author, organizer and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for communal change. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey