Police are investigating two Saturday killings that raise the number of homicides in Durham this year to 43, the most since at least 1980.
Police responded to a report of a shooting at 9:10 p.m. Saturday in the 2800 block of Rochelle Street. Officers found Usha Chatman, 22, of Durham, dead inside a vehicle. Chatman had been shot several times.
Earlier Saturday, police responded to a shooting at 4:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of Ivey Wood Lane. They found Montez Brandon, 25, of Durham, and another man, both with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital, where Brandon later died.
There have been 43 homicides in Durham this year, according to police.
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That number includes three cases that have been ruled as self-defense and one officer-involved shooting, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said in an email. In two of the 43 cases, the victim died from a shooting in a prior year: 2010 and 2014.
There were 42 homicides in 2015, with one officer-involved case and four cases that were cleared as self-defense, Michael said in an email. One of the cases happened in 2011 and the victim died in 2015 from his injuries.
State Bureau of Investigation statistics going back to 1993 show 41 homicides in 1996, which was Durham’s highest year, Michael said last year. At that time, the Durham Police Department’s statistics going back to 1980 also showed 1996 was the highest year.
Police ask anyone with information about Chatman’s slaying to call Investigator J. Barr at 919-560-4440, ext. 29325, and anyone with information about the shootings involving Brandon to call Investigator T. Huelsman at 919-560-4440, ext. 29341. Tipsters may call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200 to remain anonymous. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases.
Staff writer Virginia Bridges contributed to this story.