ONLY ON 3: Church owns home where Creekwood shooting suspect was arrested

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Submitted: Thu, 07/18/2013 - 3:23am
Updated: Thu, 07/18/2013 - 4:48pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than two weeks after clergy called for a cease fire, a Wilmington church has a connection to the latest act of gun violence.

Tuesday night Wilmington Police responded to a drive-by shooting in the 800 block of North 30th St. in the Creekwood community. The suspects sped off, and after a hit-and-run at 30th and Market streets, a tip led police to the other side of town and a Monkey Junction neighborhood.

After a brief stand-off, police arrested Joseph McCrimmons, 19, for possession of a firearm by a felon at the home at 5615 Wood Ridge Road.

Neighbors, who were too afraid for their safety to go on camera, say they think the tenants may be drug dealers. A concerned citizen commented on our website, which reads in part: “We have constantly been concerned about the suspicious activity and constant traffic flow in and out of this house, but no one will do anything! I guess it takes a police standoff with assault rifles drawn for someone to pay attention. Such a shame. Get out of our neighborhood and take the trouble with you! We don’t want this mess around our young children and families.”

Pastor Joseph Peterson of 5th Avenue United Methodist Church said the church started renting the house a couple years ago as Section 8 housing. Peterson said it originally rented the house to a mother and a daughter, but he admitted there seems to be more people living in the home now.

We went to the home to find out, but no one answered.

Neighbors say they have complained to the church about late-night traffic at the house and other concerns multiple times to no avail. Peterson says the church has nothing to do with the tenants. It just owns the house. He says Wilmington’s Best Rentals handles the rental. The company declined to comment.

Pastor Peterson said a neighbor came to the church today to complain about what’s going on at the house at 5615 Wood Ridge Rd. Peterson said he’s concerned about neighbor’s safety, but the church has nothing to do with the renters.


  • IRECKON says:

    The church has nothing to do with the renters? So if it was a whore house the church would not care! What a ridiculous argument! Hey “pastor” Peterson, you pay the rental agency, and you do have leverage to control who lives there! You are a supposed christian, act like one!

  • windy says:

    Seeing as how they do not care that the house is infested with gang members, drugs, and who knows what else … they likely would not care if the house was infested with whores either.

  • Guest9876guest says:

    She will more than likely be terminated after one of the employees at the Housing Authority reads this article. The letter is probably in the mail.

  • Guester says:

    The city can’t do anything about the property since Woodridge Rd. is not within city limits – it’s in the unincorporated county.

  • Concerned Citizen says:

    As neighbors we felt like our hands were tied. The previous Pastor of the church lived in the parsonage and was such an amazing man. Then his family left and the new pastor was assigned. They turned the property into a rental as they no longer needed it as a parsonage. Many people in the neighborhood tried to contact Pastor Peterson for some time now, but never received an answer. Basically we felt like our hands were tied. We did not even know until now that it was assigned as Section 8 housing. Before now it was mostly speculation…lots and lots of traffic at late hours, etc. It’s a shame that it took a scary incident like this to get the attention we were needing. Many, many thanks to WWAY for following this story.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    one of the persons who called for that 90 day cease fire thing?

    That being said, why can’t the city declare it a nusiance and take possession? Or at least take the property management firm to task. And why does the WHA continue to allow Section 8 vouchers for this property?

  • Vog46 says:

    The city cannot declare a property a nuisance just because a crime was committed there.
    This kid Crimmons may not even be listed as a resident there which is a shortcoming of the WHA and Sect 8 people for not checking. Clearly, when the neighbors started complaining the owners and property managers should have done something, but they did not – it appears as though they didn’t even investigate.
    I suspect this kid DID live there (or flopped there) – but without proof they would be hard pressed to make a case for removing the listed residents there.
    Both the Church and management company are practicing benign negligence – as long as they get their $ they don’t care who’s there or what goes on there.


  • antithug says:

    The property is still tax exempt for religious purposes. I am no lawyer but sounds like tax evasion to me. I looked up a few things and the way I read it, a church has to give up tax exempt status if the property is no longer a parsonage or directly linked to the church, ex. rec hall, youth center.

  • Guestomfg says:

    We taxpayers are paying rent to a church for drug dealers to live there? Would have been nice if they checked up on their property huh?

  • antithug says:

    It is a revolving door there. All different cars. All different times. Sometimes, ghost town. Then the surprise one, just when think nobody is home, a car pulls up and anywhere from one two four 18 to 30 year old black males emerge and leave. It kind of like if you picked something up and roaches run out.

  • Jasper Fant says:

    This subdivision in all likelihood has restrictive covenants which may possibly address the number of permitted occupants in the house. This is one way of using a technicality to force the government to act. It’s a priceless when you are able to find a way to turn the government into a machine that goes against the PC machine. In California they’re doing it systematically by pitting extreme special interest groups against one another. There is still hope in this world of PC madness.

  • antithug says:

    They were contacted about what was going on in that house, that Mccrimmons lived there when he committed his last crime, and alerted before he was about to be released.

    Their response, “Thank you for your notification of these violations. We will investigate this further. Please keep in mind that we are unable to discuss specifics about a client due to confidentiality laws, however, we will follow up on your report. Also, please note that we are required to allow time for the client to appeal any decision we make. Therefore, it may seem as if we are not doing anything about your complaint, but rest assured we are. Again, thank you for your email.”

    They must still be investigating, that was May 10th 2013.

  • guesty says:

    That property is outside city limits.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    if it is SEction 8, then it is subsidized with public funds. Tax Dollars in other words. Given his inflated salary and bonuses, one would think the head of WHA could find a solution.

  • Vog46 says:

    You are correct, however, why is WHA a “quasi” city entity?
    Because part of their funding is FEDERAL.

    My problem with this situation is the Church itself. Look, it was a parsonage for their pastor. This pastor didn’t need it but he church knows that pastors come and go, so rather than sell it and lose it they keep it and rent it – but with no rental experience they turn to a RE company to manage it. The Church gets income and no headaches. The management company gets fee’s.
    This is negligence on everyone’s part, based upon how much money they can make. Both the Church and management company are absentee landlords.
    A homeowner who rents out houses, or apartment owner can decide if they want to accept Sect 8. The government makes it advantageous for them to do so. It boils down to the almighty dollar………

    I agree with Rick – end the Church’s property tax exemptions. When that happens they will become more cognizant of what the property looks like, what problems are associated with the property, and what they can do to increase the value of that property. They in fact, become better property owners because it behooves them to take care of what they are paying taxes on.
    At that point Sect 8 housing becomes LESS advantageous because the tenants don’t take care of their homes, and thuggery makes the property less valuable.


  • Rick Wilson says:

    It is obvious that profit is put above anything else. It is time for all church’s free rides to end. They should be taxed like everybody else, including property taxes. If you take away the perks, you would find out who the true believers are. The rest would slither back under the rocks they crawled out from under………If this church no longer uses this property for the preacher’s home, it should have been sold. But…..they collect rent on the property, get section 8 money for the property, and do not even care what the renters are doing to the neighborhood. And…..they call themselves a church?

  • Guest2020 says:

    If a church is not abiding by the rules of tax-exempt status, then they should be made to pay, but not all churches are like that. The pastor of the church I grew up in didn’t make a lot of money. So much so that we would take up extra collections so that he and his family could have a washer and dryer as well as a reliable car. My current pastor doesn’t even take a salary. He has a full-time job outside of the church to support his family.

    There is nothing with them renting the property as long as they pay taxes on it. Sometimes there are preachers who take a job at a church with a parsonage who doesn’t need to use it. The church will keep the property in case they need it in the future for another pastor.

    If the pastor suspected that people were living there, who were not covered on the lease, they should have investigated it and put a stop to it.

  • Boris says:

    Great job WWAY, you are well ensconced in the liberal doubleplusgood brainwashing with your “gun violence” references when ever some thug shoots another one. Big Brother must be proud of your yellow journalism.

  • Guestwho says:

    You’re kidding right? Somebody shooting a gun at someone else IS “gun violence”. Everything doesn’t have to be a liberal conspiracy. Making reaches like that makes you the one who seems brainwashed. Of course this is all just more liberal brainwashing to you, isn’t it?

  • Vog46 says:

    did you miss this part of the story:

    “After a brief stand-off, police arrested Joseph McCrimmons, 19, for possession of a firearm by a felon at the home at 5615 Wood Ridge Road.”

    So this goes directly to the arguments of:
    Felons with guns
    Felons with stolen guns
    Enforcing laws already on the books…

    Whats not to love about that conservative argument eh?
    Besides conservatives love the fact that thugs are shooting thugs. How many times have you heard we should put a wall up around Creekwood and give them guns and ammo and let them kill themselves off?

    I think you have rad into that story what YOU want to believe it said, and that is that all media outlets are liberal and all practice yellow journalism when it comes to crimes committed with guns.

    Personally I’d like to hear about felons caught with guns, and being charged for that crime. It means current laws are being enforced more.


  • Don Wrong says:

    I’m sorry, explain to me again how the Church has no responsibilities to the community, when it comes to renting a house that belongs to them. That’s Chicken Poop right there. Do right by your community and quit turning a blind eye to criminal doings at “your” property 5th Avenue United Methodist Church. Shame on you.

  • GuestWrong says:

    Any checking on the tenant as long as the rent gets paid? Any oversight policy between the church and the rental agency? I don’t see much concern for who actually lives there even when the neighbors complained to the church. Is this the vision the church had for their property?

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