Local News

Police: Durham woman shot to death in garage

Posted June 26, 2012
Updated June 28, 2012

— A woman found dead Sunday afternoon in the garage of her Durham home was shot to death, police said Tuesday.

A man who called 911 said it appeared that Altaree Norris, 81, had fallen and hit her head. When the dispatcher told the man to get a towel and put it on Norris' head to slow the bleeding, he said he couldn't.

"(He) won't let me inside the house to get a cloth," the caller said. "He's being obnoxious."

Because the 911 call was altered to protect the caller's identity, it's difficult to determine who was inside the house and the person's relationship, if any, to Norris or the caller.

Durham police investigate homicide Neighbors anxious as Durham police investigate homicide

Investigators removed items from the home in the 4300 block of David Street, off North Roxboro Road, on Tuesday and searched them before taking them back inside. They didn't say whether anything had been taken from the home or provide any information on a possible motive for Norris' death.

Neighbors said that Norris had lived alone since her husband died several years ago, but she remained active in the community.

"I've been knowing her ... since I moved over here, and she's a real nice lady," next-door neighbor Grady Veasey said. "I hated what happened to her."

Veasey said he didn't hear or see anything suspicious before police showed up Sunday.

"I was just flabbergasted. I didn't know what to say or do," he said. "I sure hope they find whoever did it, because it's terrible."

No charges have been filed in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police at 919-560-4440, extension 29350, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.


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  • monami Jun 27, 2012

    shortcake, probably the "obnoxious" person was an elder speaking to a younger person who did not realize/accept that the victim was already deceased...this is sad.

    I bet an arrest is made quickly, and bet also this wasn't a random act of violence.

  • wnt2rant Jun 27, 2012

    I know her daughter, this is absolutely terrible and I feel so bad that she has to go through this. I mean, really, 81 years old, this is just sick....

  • Just Plain Common Sense Jun 26, 2012


  • shortcake53 Jun 26, 2012

    Big red flag for me...... Whoever was in the house wouldnt allow help. Doesnt anyone else see this??? My guess would be start with the "obnoxious" person inside.

  • Dartman1955 Jun 26, 2012

    Looks like Durham and Fayetteville are locked arm-in-arm.

  • ncouterbanks69 Jun 26, 2012

    Why not? This senseless tragedy points out the "head in the sand" attitude in Durham!

    It has been the norm for a very long time.

  • issymayake Jun 26, 2012

    cuz the city isn't dying. Far from it. . . downtown is revitalized and growing; companies are being started and supported; restaurants are being opened every month; and we enjoy a good quality of life.

    My condolences to the family of the victim. A tragic occurrence.

  • AtALost Jun 26, 2012

    It's not likely that a stranger was preventing the caller from getting in the house. This is no different than the domestic violence that occurs in Raleigh. Remember the man in the freezer? Where was all the outrage?

  • aetius476 Jun 26, 2012

    "Not the time or place to trash the town. Where is the humanity on this board?" - foster208

    Why not? This senseless tragedy points out the "head in the sand" attitude in Durham!

    This poor elderly woman is murdered in her own home in cold blood during the middle of the day and you see no problem?

    Where is the outrage? Why are those that love Durham not enraged over the depraved violence consuming this town?

    I don't understand why all you care about is defending a dying cities rep...

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 26, 2012

    We've been desensitized due to all of the violent crime occuring daily around here.