Durham investigates 17th homicide of the year

jwise@newsobserver.comJuly 24, 2013 

  • 2013 Durham homicides

    As of Wednesday, 17 homicides had occurred in Durham this year:

    • Jan. 1: Kinta Lamont Newman, 33, shot on Cecil Street. No suspect named.

    • Jan. 9: Lashaun Lamont Hunt, 18, shot on University Drive. No suspect named.

    • Feb. 9: Brian Christopher Keys, 24, shot on Fayetteville Road. Suspects: Deshario Mitchell, 18; Kadeem Johnson, 18; Monquell Davis, 19.

    • March 16: Aubrey Lamont Parrish, 29, stabbed on Fidelity Drive. Suspect: Anthony Alfred Adams, 30.

    • April 18: JeJuan Taylor Jr., 19, shot on S. LaSalle Street. Suspects: Hope Farley, 19; Thomas Clayton, 21.

    • April 29: Maurice Frank Streeter, 27, shot on Fayetteville Street. No suspect named.

    • Kevin Ramon Leathers, 41, beaten on Guess Road. No suspect named.

    • May 3: Deandre Oliver, 22, shot on Glenbrook Drive. No suspect named.

    • May 22: Millicent Lavon Blair-Arnett, 40, shot on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. Suspect: Anthony Carl Arnett, 45, also killed self.

    • June 18: Jermaine Andrea McDonald, 37, shot on North Hyde Park Ave. Suspect: Christopher Stanbeck, 25.

    • June 20: Michael Lee, 25, shot on Melbourne Street. No suspect named.

    • June 22: Ronald Leathers, 32, shot on Gray Avenue. No suspect named.

    • June 27: Takoreio Jackson, 19, shot on Dearborn Drive. No suspect named.

    • July 3: Dion Omari Williams, 17, shot on Freeman Road. Suspect: Jaaron Joyner, 18.

    • July 11: Maurice Arnold, 49, shot on Mutual Court. No suspect named.

    • July 22: Travis Knight, 41, shot on East Umstead Street. No suspect named.

    • July 23: Ella Davis, 58, found dead on Green Hollows Lane. Cause of death not announced. No suspect named.

    Source: Durham Police Department

— Police have concluded that a woman’s suspicious death on Tuesday was the city’s 17th homicide of 2013.

The victim has been identified as Ella Davis, 68, of Greens Hollow Lane. Investigators have not released the cause of death or filed charges.

Officers found Davis’ body in her apartment at Greens Pine Glen shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. They had been dispatched to check the resident’s welfare, according to police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

Davis was found just hours after Travis Knight, 41, of Armitage Drive was fatally shot in the 300 block of East Umstead Street. Police found him wounded after responding to a report of gunshots at 9:09 p.m. Monday. Knight was taken to Duke Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Police have not named a suspect.

Davis’s was the eighth killing since June 18, and the summer’s rash of homicides has alarmed some citizens.

On July 3, Mayor Bill Bell and Police Chief Jose L. Lopez held a news conference to “reassure the public that they have nothing to fear.”

From 2008 through 2012, the city averaged 23.2 homicides yearly, according to police records – 21 last year.

In January through July 2012, there were 14 homicides – just two fewer than the total so far this year. But at no point in 2012 were there as many killings in so short a time.

At a meeting July 12 of the Durham Crime Cabinet, attorney Charlie Reece said the city was “in the midst of a crisis.”

Along with Reece, City Council candidate Eddie Davis wanted to know whether Durham officials had been talking about the “recent rash” of homicides.

Raleigh, with 185,000 more residents than Durham, had 17 homicides in 2012, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports, and Cary had none. Winston-Salem, with about the same population as Durham, had seven.

Thomas Poole, a former facilitator in Durham’s Partners Against Crime program, said Durham’s is “a frustrated public” over the community’s homicide and violent crime rates.

But city police and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office “have been vigilant,” he said, “going door to door, walking the streets, doing all they can.”

Reece said he was surprised that members of the Crime Cabinet, a group of community leaders and law enforcement officials, showed no particular “sense of urgency” about the recent killings.

“The reason you’re not getting a sense of increased urgency is that this group and all of these other groups that are working in Durham have felt that sense of urgency for a long time,” City Councilman Don Moffit said.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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