Man, 53, shot dead on Durham street as crime statistics head to council

Police were looking Monday for the killer who left 53-year-old Paul Jones shot dead in the street on Scout Drive.

Jones, who lived in Durham, was found after officers answered a call about gunshots being heard shortly after 1 a.m. in the 1200 block of the street, which is off South Street a few blocks east of the American Tobacco Trail and the Forest Hills neighborhood.

A white pickup truck seen in the area at the time may be involved, investigators said.

Police withheld other details about the killing while investigators worked the case, but they did term it a homicide.

The killing happened early on the day that police will present the City Council with statistics on crime in the city for the seventh, eighth and ninth months of this year.

As of Thursday, there had been 33 homicides in Durham this year, compared with a 12-month total of 22 in 2014 and 30 in 2013.

At that point last week, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said, investigators had 10 open cases in which they had not yet been able to bring charges. An arrest warrant has been issued in an 11th case, but not served on the suspect yet, Michael said.

There were no murder arrests over the weekend, records showed.

Durham’s violent crime rate jumped 13.5 percent in the first six months of the year, compared to the same time last year. City Manager Tom Bonfield said he expects the Monday report to show a 16 percent increase in violent crime over the third quarter of 2014.

Police asked anyone with information about Monday’s killing on Scout Drive to call Investigator J. Barr at 919-560-4440, ext. 29325, or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

Reporter Virginia Bridges contributed to this report.