Local News

Raleigh Police Arrest Suspect in Post Office Murder of NCSU Employee

Posted August 22, 2002

— May 19, 2000

Raleigh police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of an

N.C. State

employee found Thursday night inside the lobby of the Method Station Post Office.

Police say the victim, Eric B. Bish, 30, was discovered around 8 p.m. Thursday when a customer entered the post office and found him lying in a pool of blood.

Robert Earl Avery, 29, of no known address, was taken into custody 6 a.m. Friday. He was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and larceny of a license tag Friday afternoon.

Police say Avery shot Bish in the head and took his station wagon to a Durham Bulls game. He then took the license plate from someone else's car and put it on Bish's vehicle to try to conceal his identity.

Avery was questioned after he was found with the car at a Raleigh home where outreach services are provided to the homeless. Investigators are still searching for the murder weapon.

Bish, a strawberry and grape specialist, was an extension agent with NCSU's Horticulture Science Department.

Police say there appears to be no motive in the murder.

"It's very seldom that murder is a random act and this appears to be simply a random act of violence," says Capt. Michael Longmire. "Normally there is a relationship between the victims, but there was none in this case."

The post office reopened late Friday afternoon. Several customers were concerned by the murder.

"You never know what could happen to you just taking a trip to the post office. It's scary," says postal customer Grace Landry.

"I don't see being harmed any more likely here than anywhere else," says postal customer John Aldridge. "I think that you have to watch out and don't have a heart attack worrying about everything, but at the same time, keep your eyes and ears open."

Postal Inspector Chuck Thompson says the post office is being looked at to see if any security improvements are needed.

"There is a chance that we may restrict the hours if we find something that shows this didn't just randomly happen at this station," Thompson says.

Reporters: Len Besthoff, Todd Hauer

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