Postal worker shooting highlights dangers for mail carriers

by: Brittney Johnson Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Local mail carriers are calling union leaders concerned after one of their own was shot on the job in west Charlotte Thursday.

[ARTICLE: Mother of injured Charlotte mail carrier: 'Why did they shoot him?']

National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 545 President Sylvin Stevens has been comforting letters carriers non-stop since the shooting.

"I'm wearing this ribbon in solidarity and support to Mr. McDaniels. I hope he gets well soon,” Stevens said.

Stevens said he went to the hospital to visit with the victim's family Thursday night and learned carrier Ed McDaniels should recover.  Stevens remembers a similar crime in the past.

"It reminded me of 1996," he said. "Not only a letter carrier, a friend of mine got shot in the head, by a customer."

Stevens let that experience guide him Friday morning when he went to McDaniels’ post office to support rattled carriers before they went out on their routes.

Eyewitness News saw police and postal inspectors back at the scene Friday of the shooting near Archer Avenue and Clanton Road.

Last week, Channel 9 discovered the postal service suspended mail for two days near West Charlotte High School when carriers heard gunfire.

Stevens said it doesn't happen frequently but it happens.

He said carriers deal with dangerous dogs, assaults and gunfire.

"It's a risk that letter carriers take, either deliver the mail, or be injured, or out of work," he said.

He said while carriers’ safety always comes first, they're committed to delivering your mail.

"It doesn't stop us from doing what we do," he said.

Stevens said some workers are pushing for better communication when carriers are threatened or injured on the job. Authorities are still investigating the shooting that injured McDaniels.

Union leaders do not believe the mail carriers are being targeted.

The U.S. Postal Service sent the following statement when Eyewitness News asked if the shooting would impact delivery to residents:

 

"The safety of our customers and employees is a top priority for the Postal Service. We will make every reasonable, safe mail delivery possible on all routes in Charlotte today."