Local News

Church Deacon Shot to Death While Getting Mail

Posted October 23, 2007
Updated October 24, 2007

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— A 74-year-old Raleigh man slain Tuesday night was returning home from church when he was shot to death as he checked his mail, police said.

Richard Gus Brown had returned to his apartment shortly before 8 p.m. from what he thought was a deacon board meeting at Old Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Louisburg.

Brown's widow, Evelyn Brown, said her husband thought the meeting was an hour before it was scheduled and that she believed he made the trip, saw no one at the church and returned home.

He apparently decided to check the mail and was shot at the community mailboxes on the north side of Wallingford Drive in the 5000 block, police said.

He was pronounced dead at WakeMed.

"(He was) an innocent person minding his own business," said Jesse Black, Richard Brown's brother-in-law.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said investigators believe the shooting was random. But police have not released any information about a motive or the identity of the assailant or assailants.

They are awaiting autopsy results to find out how many times Brown was shot and how many people they should be looking for.

Investigators spent hours examining the scene and collecting evidence and asked anyone who was in the general area of the crime to call police at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.

"Even seemingly insignificant details can often lead to developments in a criminal investigation," Sughrue said.

"To me, I cannot get any type of closure until I see the person that did this," Evelyn Brown said. "How do you just kill somebody?"

"I hope they find him. I really hope they find him," she later added. "Because I have to find a way to forgive somebody I don't know."