LoMa

Just hours into the start of the holiday shopping season, a shooting on the edge of one of Wilmington's shopping and dining districts may cause concern.

At least one business owner said it should not keep people away.

"As Mister Rogers would say, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," LaFate Gallery owner Eunice LaFate said at the start of a Facebook Live video Tuesday in which she highlighted the attractions in the Lower Market (LoMa) area.

A short distance from the gallery, a man and a woman were shot at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday - overnight hours, on a weekend.

LaFate has had the gallery for about four years, but has resided on Wilmington's East Side for more than three decades.

She believes the city gets a bad rap.

"When it comes to safety, I am not naive. But, I am not going to dwell on negativity," LaFate told WDEL News. 

LaFate said she had confidence in the Wilmington Police Department and its chief as well as Mayor Mike Purzycki. 

Near her store, Downtown Visions safety ambassadors and cleanliness patrols were on the job. 

"The normally pass in the morning. They'll come to my door, 'how are you doing?'" LaFate added. "They're so caring."

In her gallery, LaFate offers images of one of her paintings: a dove carrying an olive branch, flying over a city skyline. The message: "A Peaceful City Begins With Me."

"Again, I am not naive. But when I compare and I look at the overall picture, Wilmington is a great city."