The Rosehill shooting in New Castle; the cycle of violence goes on

 Police search for clues following the shooting at Rosehill Community Center earlier this month. (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

Police search for clues following the shooting at Rosehill Community Center earlier this month. (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

Another shooting. But this time it wasn’t in the city limits.  John Watson offers some comments.

John Watson’s commentary:

The headline in the News Journal tells us the story, “We’re All Horrified.” Your first thought: a shooting in Wilmington?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am horrified too. Wondering if I will be in the wrong place when some shooting takes place in Wilmington.

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In this case, 30-year-old Jamar Kilgoe, who was shot and killed while recording some of his music at the Rose Hill Community Center in New Castle, always thought he was in a very safe place for his activities.

That bullet not only ended his life, but it also ended the feeling of safety and comfort at the center for everybody in New Castle. The reaction is that people will stay away from the center.

New Castle County Police and other officials have sworn to give a “full-court press” to solve case. Terrance D. Newton, Kilgoe’s brother who is an assistant principal at the H.B. du Pont Middle School said, “He was a good dude. Nothing negative. He wasn’t in the streets. He wasn’t fighting with anyone. All he did was take care of his kids, go to work and the studio, and love his family.”

Another good man has been taken from us. When I read the story, it reminded me of another good man, also a rapper, 25 year old Cameron Hamlin.

Hamlin’s father Vindrick says was Cameron was shot and killed by a jealous former boyfriend of his current girlfriend. Shannon Johnson was caught by the police after he tried to kill her. She was the only eyewitness in Cameron’s 2008 death. The killer was found guilty, and executed in 2012.

In Cameron’s case, I interviewed his father, and State Representative Helene Kelley during that time about her efforts to pass “Cameron’s Law.”  It increased penalties for repeat gun offenders. No probation, good behavior or plea bargain deals allowed.

I’m a past president of the Wilmington Kiwanis Club. At the group’s annual awards dinner for Wilmington police and firemen, the issue of gun violence came up.

We talked about how arguments that used be settled with fists are now settled with guns.

We wondered if the Wilmington and New Castle Police should go back to their former “stop & search” policy again. I’m sure they would be able to get many guns, which would otherwise be used killing someone on our city streets.

Allow me another moment to talk about parenting as a part of all of this.

Could it be that if parents had the right tools for dealing with a disobedient child that they wouldn’t end up killing each other?

There are rules about using a switch for tougher discipline, but some other rules border on favoring child disobedience.  A time out or a no cellphone and no TV punishment could go a long way.

The Kiwanis Club slogan is “saving the community one child at a time.”

It’s about time that we did something about so many- too many- young black males having guns. A young black male may not have been responsible in Jamar Kilgoe’s death, but police are looking for a person of interest who is young.  As New Castle County police said last week, most shooting victims know their killers.  

Many of them learned about guns in their teens and 20’s and some of them are walking around now with guns ready from some action. The wrong kind of action I think. 


John Watson is a former Wilmington radio talk show host.  You comment to him at

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