Local News

NCSU Students Shocked at Suspect

Posted August 8, 1998

— Nathaniel Fair is being sought by Raleigh police in connection with the murder of Reubin McNeill, a well-liked educator and church elder. That has shocked some students at North Carolina State University because Fair lived in a student housing complex until May of this year.

Residents of the King Village complex say Fair left school during the spring semester.

Now he's a murder suspect on the run from police, and some of his former neighbors are worried about their own safety.

Students were shocked to learn that a quiet college dorm once housed a person now wanted in connection with murder.

Some residents are afraid to talk about Fair -- afraid he might find them and retaliate.

One woman who asked us not to identify her said, "I cannot imagine that people like him stay here, because you always think this is a safe place."

Many King Village residents are international students whose young children live with them. Some say they've been told by university housing officials not to talk about their former neighbor.

Police want Fair for the robbery, kidnapping, and murder of McNeill, whose body was discovered Thursday in Raleigh.

"I'm going to miss him a lot. He was really, really cool," said Justin Collerette. "I can't believe someone did that to him." Collerette is a student at Lufkin Road School.

McNeill was known as "Mr. Mac" to the students he worked with at Apex Middle School. The Apex community is reeling from the loss of a man who worked with children in the Wake County schools for more than 20 years.

"What kind of people would do that kind of thing, man? It's like, 'Why take him?' He's just a guy delivering some checks for church," said Nick Orsatti, a student at Apex High School.

Members of a local church that meets at Apex Middle school signed a letter of condolence to McNeill's family today. For the past four years, McNeill made it possible for them to hold Sunday services here.

"We are sorry for the circumstances of his death and his loss and we're grateful for the support Reubin has given us over the years," said Robert MacDonald of the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church.

Two memorials will be held tomorrow for Reubin McNeill.

A service is scheduled at 11 a.m. in Raleigh at the Rush A.M.E. Zion Church. A second memorial will be held at the McNeill family church in Harnett County. It begins at 7 at the Oak Grove A.M.E. Zion Church in Erwin.

McNeill's family believes hundreds of his friends, co-workers and students will attend the services.

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