Kinston homicide rate doubles in one year

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – The homicide rate in one Eastern Carolina city has doubled in 2022 compared with last year.

This information comes just a few days before a public forum will take place regarding the increase in violence.

Kinston Interim Police Chief Keith Goyette shared with WITN that there have been 10 homicides in the city this year. That’s double the rate of 2021 and four more than in 2020.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there were four different shootings in the city. One of those was deadly.

Leon Steele, the director of Downtown Kinston Revitalization, says city events this year have been successful and visitors aren’t generally fearful.

“It’s not random,” Steele said of the violence. “We’re very glad about that, as unfortunate as the whole thing is.”

A public forum is set to take place on Thursday regarding the increase in violence. Downtown Kinston business owner, Zac Holcomb, already cleared his calendar to attend.

“I think a lot of it is just getting the community engagement,” Holcomb said. “I think the big thing I’m excited to see is seeing the council taking the time to set it up.”

Leading up to the forum, Goyette emphasized that city leaders have heard public concerns and they are listening.

“I think we’ve been in the community and we’ve established those relationships where we have the community and we have the trust that we’re starting to get phone calls and we’re starting to utilize crime stoppers,” Goyette said.

The public forum is set to happen this Thursday at The Gate on East Gordon Street starting at 6 p.m.

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