Local News

Funeral home operator tied up during Raleigh break-in

Posted June 13, 2014

— Burglars broke into a Raleigh funeral home early Friday, tying up the owner and then ransacking an apartment above the business.

Bruce Lightner, who lives on the second floor of Lightner Funeral & Cremation, at 312 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., said he was in bed shortly after midnight when two armed men broke in and ordered him not to move.

Lightner, 66, said the intruders bound him with duct tape and taped his mouth, and one man held a gun to his head while another ransacked his home.

He said they took cash and a cellphone before fleeing, adding that nothing in the funeral home on the first floor was disturbed.

He wasn't physically injured, and he was able to escape and go to a nearby store to call 911. He told police that one man wore a hooded sweatshirt and the other had a red and black bandana over his face.

Lightener is the son of former Clarence Lightner who in 1973 became the city's first black mayor.

Bruce Lightner founded and serves as chairman of the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee. His family has owned Lightner Funeral Home for more than a century.


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  • James Scandrick Jun 16, 2014
    user avatar

    Even those burying the dead can't have peace in Raleigh. It's always about gun laws when the crimes are in Raleigh, maybe it's just the city and county the crimes are being committed.

  • Paul Donovan Jun 16, 2014
    user avatar

    I am surprised he didn't blame Bush based on his commentaries on everything

  • thinkin out loud Jun 13, 2014

    Something very fishy about this. Hmmmm

  • sunshine1040 Jun 13, 2014

    The gun was held to his head so he would get so nervous he would not recogonize the men or be able to describe them to the police. Pay attention to your law and order shows

  • 61babygirl29 Jun 13, 2014

    With the recent news reports about funeral home directors and their "shady" business practices, I wouldn't be surprised if he had somebody do this-claim being robbed of cash when in fact he stole the money from a funeral policy and waiting for his insurance company to replace his stolen money so no one would ever know. Maybe I just need to take a break from the Law & Order marathons and reading the news.

  • Mary Boehm Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    Why couldn't he use the phones in the funeral home. I hate this happened to him and hope he rcovers from the mental anguish.

  • ncdime1235 Jun 13, 2014

    Lopo, glad you can see the humor in this. Hope you never experience what this man did. I'm sure it won't be so humorous.

  • superflames Jun 13, 2014

    Oh my. How awful. I'm glad he is physically unharmed.

  • lopo Jun 13, 2014

    I guess people are just dying to rob that place.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Jun 13, 2014

    Sick to death of hearing stories like this.