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Retiree Shot Outside His Fayetteville Home

Posted June 5, 2007

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— A man who recently retired from the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant was gunned down outside his home Monday night, police said.

Clifford Tatum, 50, was found shot in the front yard of his home at 1018 Abrams St. shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, police said. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he died.

The shooting stunned neighbors and friends, who said Tatum lived on the street for more than two decades and had reared two sons there with his wife, who recently died of cancer.

"I can't believe it. Anybody you talk to down at the (Goodyear) plant, they'll tell you he was the nicest guy you'd ever meet," friend Lacy Smith said. "He's so humble. He's was a nice guy."

"(He was) happy every time you see him, had a smile on his face. He'd always be polite," neighbor Gregory Evans said.

Tatum recently retired from the tire plant, where he had worked for about 30 years, friends said.

Neighbor Daniel Fulks said he heard eight to 10 gunshots Monday night. Tatum's house was riddled with bullet holes.

"Usually, when he comes home from work, he goes in the house, and you don't see him anymore. (Monday), he just happened to be outside," Fulks said.

"I've never known him to have any problems with anybody. He worked every day," he said. "It's a shame for a good person (to die) like that. I hope they catch the person (responsible)."

Witnesses told police they saw a silver Mercedes in the area at the time of the shooting.

Police don't have a motive or information about a possible suspect. They described Tatum as "an innocent victim."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crimestoppers at 910-483-8477.

36 Comments

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  • LADY1 Jun 6, 2007

    That is very sad, to retire and your life cut short, God bless the family at this time.

  • 68_polara Jun 6, 2007

    This is so awful! Sounds like it may have been drug hit in which the wrong house was targeted. These "players" as these violent little dweebs want to be known as love Mercedes.

  • MeatHead Jun 5, 2007

    I'am sorry for the family.Both sides. But I must say this! Raleigh needs to get off it's high horse! That community has it's share of homicides this year.This idea that Fayetteville and Durham is really bad places is code for a large "black population." Don't beleive everything your neighbor says. Get real.

  • 4everamom Jun 5, 2007

    This goes to prove that innocent people die from ignorance of another human being. This was a well respected man to all that knew him and it is very sad for these boys that now have neither parent. I hope that tips come in that help arrest the ones responsible for this senseless act of violence.
    May God be with these boys during this difficult time.

  • childfreeinrdu Jun 5, 2007

    MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF THE DECEASED!

    GOD BLESS!

    REV CF

  • tarheel1993 Jun 5, 2007

    Dear REV....It's Navajo, not navaho. have a good day.

  • angora Jun 5, 2007

    To lizard: Get real. Would there be any comments that would make it onto the site? It's too inflammatory a situation to open up for comments.

  • lizard Jun 5, 2007

    Why won't they open the story post to the illegal immigant that killed that man on I-40?

  • TWIG Jun 5, 2007

    REV RB I AM IMPRESSED WITH YOUR JOB AGENDA. PLEASE KEEP UP
    THE GOOD WORK- AND BY THE WAY, YES I DO HAVE A JOB.
    SEE YA LATER!

  • hedgy_one Jun 5, 2007

    Don't assume this man was "into something" or unable to live somewhere other than a "high crime" area.... I live in a neighborhood & in a house where my mother grew up and my grandparents lived. Over the years the neighborhood has changed from a typical family oriented community into a lower income rental neighborhood that many people call a "bad area of town." I stay there because I have roots there. I love my community and work to try to make it a better place for everyone. It's "home" to me. Maybe this man felt the same way. His death was senseless, but it could have happened in the best "high rent" districts, too. Crime happpens everywhere this day & time!

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