McDougald Terrace residents say shootings have become 'normal'
Posted July 3
Durham, N.C. — A Durham community is standing up to violence after a man was murdered in McDougald Terrace on Friday.
City leaders and groups attended a vigil Monday night to let the community know they care about McDougald Terrace, which was a welcome sight for those who live there.
The vigil was held at the corner of Dayton and Wabash Streets. The area is near the place where 27-year-old Carl Suitt Jr. was shot and killed Friday morning.
McDougald Terrace residents said Suitt’s death is the latest incident in a neighborhood where shootings have become too normal and happen too often.
Suitt’s death happened about 20 yards away from where Frank Clark was shot and killed by a police officer in November.
"It saddens me, as a whole, as far as with the community, because a lot of us are misinformed and we don't understand that this is not the norm," said Raheem Hunt, who grew up in McDougald Terrace. "I was once a part of this same situation that was going on over here."
Hunt is now part of the solution through his work with Bull City United, a group that works to prevent violence and retaliation crimes in Durham.
"You lose a life, someone ends up going to prison, so what we try to do is we try to stop violence on the front end as well as, we do shooting responses to try and stop retaliation," Hunt said. "We also actually get people enrolled in school, get them jobs, just so they can see some type of hope and know that someone is out there for them."
Retired Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers and his group, Men of Vision, have started a mentoring program in the neighborhood.
"It's senseless and we want to send a message that we care," Chalmers said. "We just need to be concerned about, really, what's going on in our communities."
Residents said that Clarks' shooting death still affects their willingness to feel comfortable going to police.
Durham police said they are working to build relationships with residents in the neighborhood by hosting weekly community lunches. They hope that, by fostering relationships, residents will come to police with information when crimes happen and may even offer information that could help prevent a crime.
"I have a lot of hope for this community," Hunt said.
Police have not yet made any arrests in connection with Suitt’s death.