© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Wilmington Police Department seizes Port City United vehicle as part of Houston Moore investigation

The Houston Moore public housing development in Willington.
Benjamin Schachtman
The Houston Moore public housing development in Wilmington.

According to New Hanover County, members of the PCU team were conducting "routine duties" at Houston Moore when a shooting sent one person to the hospital in critical condition. The county says one PCU employee was questioned and released by the police.

Note: This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

On Thursday evening, around 5:15 p.m., Wilmington Police Department units responded to a shots-fired call at the Houston Moore public housing complex on Greenfield Street near South 13th Street.

Police found one person suffering from life-threatening bullet wounds. The unidentified victim was taken to Novant Health NHRMC and was listed in critical condition.

A spokesperson for New Hanover County confirmed that employees of the county's Port City United department were present at the shooting. Port City United was created in April 2022 with the aim of preventing street violence through a variety of means, including community outreach, a hotline, and violence interrupters.

"The Mediation Outreach Team with Port City United was conducting their routine duties in the Houston Moore area when shots were reportedly fired," Josh Smith, the county's chief spokesperson, told WHQR on Friday afternoon.

Smith also said WPD "took possession of a county vehicle, which was nearby during the incident, as part of their investigation."

WPD confirmed it had seized a county vehicle and as of Friday afternoon had released it.

Smith also added that "the county employee who was driving the vehicle was also questioned and released by law enforcement."

Smith said the county is fully cooperating with WPD.

PCU's Mediation Outreach Team, based on the Cure Violence Global model, is aimed at "meeting people where they are to build trust and mediate conflict in an effort to stop violence before it starts."

While PCU is its own program, it shares some elements and employees with a similar mediation program run by Tru Colors, the troubled for-profit brewery that sought to decrease violence by hiring active gang members with the credibility and connections to effectively seek out discord and preempt lethal violence.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.