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Police Cast Wider Net in Search for Deacon's Slayer

Posted October 25, 2007

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— Raleigh investigators believe robbery could have been the motive in the fatal shooting of a 74-year-old church deacon who was attacked outside his home Tuesday night.

Thursday, they expanded their plea for information, asking people to call police at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME if they have information about robberies or attempted robberies in the Wallingford Drive area where Richard Gus Brown was slain.

They also put up posters at local stores in an effort to generate leads.

"We know that there have been 11 robberies since Aug. 1 in that wide general area," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. The neighborhood is off Spring Forest Road between Capital Boulevard and Louisburg Road.

Brown had returned from church to his apartment shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday and was checking his mail when someone shot him.

Investigators spent hours examining the scene on Tuesday and Wednesday and canvassed the neighborhood Thursday looking for evidence.

Meanwhile, neighbors reeled from Brown's death, which has shocked the apartment community.

"I was here by myself, so I was a little nervous – and to see everything right out my window," neighbor Tamara Squires said.

Residents of the Wallingford Drive apartment complex said they have experienced very little crime in their neighborhood, but fear Brown's death has changed that.

"It could happen anywhere, so you have to be nervous anywhere you are," said resident Patrick Hand. "I just never thought it would happen in this neighborhood."

18 Comments

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  • Zebulon in the house Oct 26, 2007

    I live near that neighborhood, on Hollenden Drive. The whole area is gang-saturated. Raleigh would be well-served by leveling those apartment buildings and replacing them with high-end homes and townhomes, just like Kane Realty did for the North Hills Mall area.

  • DavidJonathan Oct 26, 2007

    Crimes against the elderly, children, and other helpless people cry out for tough enforcement of the law. May the perpetrators be caught swiftly.

  • seenenuf Oct 26, 2007

    I grew up in Raleigh and never heard of someone being shot checking their mail. One of the most senseless murders in Wake County.

  • Gnathostomata Oct 26, 2007

    This was senseless...so sorry for his community and family to have to know his life ended this way. The picture shows a man happy with life, and we are left with the person who did this crime...

    What can the police do except follow up after a crime has been committed? It is up to the citizens to watch out for their communities and stop acting as if they are an island, looking out for self instead of neighbors.

    I lived in Alaska where we had to look before we went outside to make sure moose were not in the yard; now I live in NC and have to look to make sure the parking lot is okay before I leave the store, the house, the Church...it is sad, but a sign of the times. May everyone learn to be aware of their surroundings before they go to get the mail or walk out of the store...

  • Mr. French Oct 26, 2007

    I grew up in that part of Raleigh. Attended West Millbrook. Used to walk to school through grassy meadows and woodlands. Not a care in the world and I'd play outside all afternoon until it got dark.

    What a shame. I suppose this is just one more "advantage" to all the unchecked and irresponsible growth in our county over the past 10 years.

  • Adelinthe Oct 26, 2007

    None of us know at this point what happened. Suppositions and guesses have no value.

    What we DO know is that a wonderful elderly man is dead and that his loved ones are grieving, and need our valuable thoughts and prayers.

    We also know that valuable prayer is needed that they catch the coward who did this posthaste, before they hurt anyone else.

    Totally senseless crime, murdering anyone - let alone the young or the elderly.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • TarHeel Undergrad Oct 26, 2007

    "sounds like law enforcement needs to work harder on it."--lynddsy

    Come on now, they are not to blame for this. They cannot be in every neighborhood that has a significant amount of recent robberies at the same time.

    The blame falls on nobody but the scumbag(s) that pulled the trigger. I can only pray that they will be brought to justice and this senseless violence can stop.

  • owlady Oct 25, 2007

    This is very sad and shocking to me. That area of Raleigh is a peaceful nice area. The Spring Forest Road Park is very close to that street. I never feared being in this area. Now I am not so sure. I would like to suspect that his killer knew him, even if it was a robbery. I am so sorry for his family. I hope they solve this crime.

  • twc Oct 25, 2007

    Possibly a gang initiation. Or it might be he turned his back on a robber instead of giving up his wallet. Either way I hope the thugs get caught and spend the rest of their lives in prison and then be executed!

  • floyd_lawson Oct 25, 2007

    My thoughts and prayers to the family. I hope this person is stopped before they can do any more damage.

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