The GUN BATTLE Monday at 502 S. Shaver Street: Is the Salisbury Police Department Underreporting or Minimizing Violent Crime?

Posted on February 8, 2017

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney/RFP Staff

♦ At 10:16 p.m. many concerned citizens reported multiple gunshots fired in the vicinity of Salisbury City Park and Confederate Avenue. Citizen reports cited gunfire and return gunfire, from five to eight shots in each volley.  Our citizens were alarmed.

Once thought to be an almost untouchable neighborhood near the Salisbury Country Club, an area recently rocked by reports of one of it’s notable couples being shot at in the parking lot of a convenience store and the recent “big haul” burglary of a celebrated and much beloved retired doctor and his wife. While both crimes resulted in quick arrests. (rank has its privileges) Many “pillars of the community” are reported to be terrified, particularly at night. Since no press release was forthcoming from the city, we can only assume that the stately homes and celebrated residents in the area miraculously escaped harm.

Within a short period around ten more shots were reported in the vicinity of Old Concord Road and South Shaver streets. The Salisbury Police responded. The public record of this incident is attached as “all other discharging firearm.” It reads like an old man shooting squirrels in his back yard doesn’t it? I defy anyone to read this report at the bottom of this article and be able to tell what happened there.  The roots of underreporting.

The police incident/investigation report focuses on 502 S. Shaver Street. At least the address is accurate.  This same address was the scene of a previous “shooting into an occupied property” back on November 10th.  The RFP article on that shooting:

I know a direct witness to Monday’s gun battle. I won’t mention his name due their realistic concerns of retaliation, but will tell you that I have known this person for over 20 years and I have no qualms about his reliability.  Here is what they reported:

“I had the unfortunate experience to see the entire encounter as did my girlfriend on a family visit. Standing 25 yards away, I saw an individual enter the center of Shaver Street, facing Innes St. and begin to fire shots at a white sedan driving away from the location on Shaver St. The car immediately turned sideways in the street and then higher pitched gunshots were fired, then simultaneously the first gun at a lower pitch was firing as well. My girlfriend was running for cover who also saw and heard the entire event take place. I am simply a concerned citizen with a handicapped, elderly mother near such violence. There are a lot of innocent, defenseless individuals all surrounding this type of violence, Simply Concerned.”

Other neighbors reported multiple shots being fired from a car on the 500 block of S. Shaver Street. A Pontiac and a white Volvo were sighted. Shell casings littered the street. People are alarmed!

502 S. Shaver Street, Salisbury, N.C.:

Location 502 S. Shaver Street, Salisbury, N.C.:

Additional questioning revealed that shots were returned from the white sedan as well. No one was reported killed or injured. Shouldn’t this have been recorded as a “firing into occupied property”? Most of the houses in this neighborhood are of wood cladding and frame construction which is incapable of stopping even pistol ammunition. Were the homeowners just protecting themselves? Were arrests made?

We have heard reports that Salisbury Police Department was classifying serious crimes into less violent categories to create better statistics for the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, however if this is true, the statistics are still incredibly bad.

Two things come to mind: First, if these gun battles are occurring and the statistics are still awful, how horrific is the actual truth? Second, wonder why the city is sitting on the report of the Country Club/ Confederate Ave. shooting? Perhaps it’s just the “Salisbury way” of helping all those older folks on Confederate Ave. many who have “for sale” signs up, escape to a safer place?

The Fibrant deficit continues to be paid for by vacancies at Salisbury Police Department which the city admits is now 18 officers down. The Fibrant deficit drives the city. Violent crime is now invading the “nice” neighborhoods and fear is no longer the constant companion of just minorities and neighborhoods some elites consider “troubled.”

No amount of special awards, trolley barn parties, clown signs, “Let it shine” videos, broadband entertainment and ribbon cuttings are much comfort when the residents of ALL of Salisbury’s neighborhoods now lay in bed awake all night listening to the sounds of distant sirens wailing and the sharp report of gunshots heard throughout the city and wonder, “Should we have bought a brick house instead?”

Councilman David Post, who forced the city to be honest about the Fibrant Debacle and has proposed attempting to sell or privatize it and Kenny Hardin, who is as an important bridge between the races in this city, but who is thwarted by the council majority and city staff who often work against him. This council, Maggie Blackwell, Karen Alexander and Brian Miller need to be voted out before our town gets burnt down. The tipping point is here in 2017, Salisbury is a far cry from what it used to be and we need strong hands at the tiller to pilot us through this violent typhoon.

Monday’s Incident/Investigation Report at 502 S. Shaver Street:

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