Community Reacts to Shooting

Community Reacts to Shooting

All of the six people shot Wednesday in Goldsboro were teenagers. Police say the ShotSpotter system and 911 callers alerted them to an incident near N. Leslie St. and E. Walnut St. at around 6:30 pm.

Five juveniles were in stable condition at UNC Health Wayne Wednesday evening. 15-year-old Joyonna Pearsall, a high school sophomore, died at the scene. 

People who work with youth in Wayne County are reacting with sadness.

When The executive director of the Partnership for Children of Wayne County heard that a 15-year old girl was killed in gun violence in Goldsboro, her reaction was immediate.

“It is a tragedy. It is so, so very terrible for our community for families and children.”

Valerie Wallace heads an organization which provides support for families with children.

She says there has to be better education about gun violence.

“We do a lot of parenting programs in our organization and I think we’re going to have to put more of those things in place, more parenting programs, there’s got to be more programs to help with mental health.”

The last few years have been especially challenging for teens and children in regards to mental health according to Wallace.

Mark Colebrook of Operation Unite Goldsboro says his initial reaction was sadness but that quickly changed to anger.

Colebrook knew the 15-year-old from his time working at Wayne County Schools.

Colebrook’s organization was formed in 2017 to help the community get along with police and to encourage community policing.  Colebrook has noticed an uptick in gun violence in Goldsboro and the nation. 

Operation Unite Goldsboro plans to hold a rally next weekend to bring together a community fractured from this violent incident.

Goldsboro Mayor David Ham reacted to the shooting on Facebook:

While my heart is with the victims’ families, our thoughts and prayers alone will not eradicate the problem of unlawful ownership and use of firearms. So many dedicated community leaders are discussing solutions, but it will take our entire community to address this issue. We need parents, nonprofits, churches, school leaders, community leaders, etc. working with us to develop creative solutions to inspire positive change in our neighborhoods. I don’t have the answers today, but I am looking to meet with some action-minded people who are ready to come to the table with some ideas. It is my hope that we can work together to bring about this change.”