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Wilmington Police Departments holds first press conference on deadly Kidder St. shooting

WPD Captain Tom Tilmon
Captain Thomas Tilmon speaks during a press conference regarding the Kidder Street shooting last month.

It’s been more than a month since the Kidder Street shooting, which took three lives on April 3. Today, the police department held its first press conference on the crime.

Captain Thomas Tilmon said the Kidder Shooting had a “Gang Nexus,” meaning some of the shooters and victims involved were gang members. And many witnesses saw very little because of conditions inside the building.

“The lights were off inside the house, you had effects, lighting and strobes going along with the DJ playing loud music,” he said. “Folks inside were dancing and celebrating a birthday. When shots rang out, some of the witnesses thought it was part of the show- thought it was part of the DJ’s efforts.”

Over 20 shots were fired inside the house, he said, and those inside were trapped because all but one exit had been barred, though that was unrelated to the shooting. Tilmon added that the home itself is under investigation, as is the nature of the party that was held. He did not say whether the owner of the building is cooperating with the investigation, but suggested that person might be in legal trouble.

Tilmon emphasized the importance of eyewitnesses to prosecute a crime, and suggested the police have had difficulties getting victims to speak out. Asked how many witnesses have come forward, Tilmon responded: “Come forward or have we tracked down? I would say we have about 12 witnesses right now.”

That’s out of 40 or more attendees. But because of trauma and the poor lighting, he said few could identify the shooters.

He added that the only people left at the party by the time police arrived were the victims themselves.

“This case is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle that has no image printed on it,” he said.

Police ask that witnesses reach out if they have any information on this shooting.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant new to the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.