Local News

String of Raleigh Homicides Causing Concern

Posted March 27, 2008
Updated March 28, 2008

— The number of homicides in Raleigh is raising concerns. Seven people have been slain since the first of the year, triple the number from the same period last year.

A few of the homicides happened within a mile of one another in central Raleigh.

Jan. 8, officers responded to a shooting in the 1300 block of Walnut Street. Derrick Dangelo Swinson was found fatally shot. He was behind a residence.

Jan. 9, Phillip Michael Hart, 21, was found outside a Damon Court home. Hart died at WakeMed, and the case was ruled a homicide, but police have not disclosed how Hart was killed.

March 23, Antonio McLean, 30, was found shot to death at 636 Coleman St., off Rock Quarry Road.

"It's not usual to have that number of murders occur that close in time and distance,” said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Since the 1960s, Lacy Murchinson has lived in central Raleigh, where a few of the recent murders occurred.

"It was a lot better than it is now,” he said.

Flashing police lights and yellow crime scene tape have become common sights in some Raleigh neighborhoods.

"We all need to step up to the plate and work with our police department. A lot of these are social problems, and these problems must be addressed,” said Octavia Rainey, chairwoman of the North Central Citizens Advisory Council.

Rainey said more needs to be done to get guns off the streets. Four of the seven murdered victims were shot.

"The issue of gun violence and the issue of accessibility to guns must be addressed," she said.

Raleigh still statistically has a low murder rate – roughly six homicides for every 100,000 people. There were 22 homicides in Raleigh in 2007, up from 19 in 2006.

Police have a history of solving more than 95 percent of the murders committed in the capital city. But four of the seven murders this year remain unsolved.

Anyone with information that might assist a murder investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.

65 Comments

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  • bluewind Mar 28, 9:30 p.m.

    And by the way, guns do nothing until some stupid criminal picks it up and aims it!!

  • bluewind Mar 28, 9:28 p.m.

    Thank you Hawkydave! I couldn't have said it better!!

  • BLOCKHEAD SQUARED Mar 28, 6:07 p.m.

    RE: No matter what some nutjobs think, guns *help* people kill people. And have server no other purpose than to inflict harm. You can not do any serious harm to me from ten feet away with a three foot cane, a baseball bat, a pencil, or a brick. A gun can inflict serious damage from 10 feet and further. And it provides an element of surprise the other "weapons" don't.

    Hmmm ..."NUTJOBS"... That's a hasty generalization. I don't consider myself a NUTJOB beacause I am an Armed "with a gun" Citizen, but that's just my opinion of course, and my local sheriffs office, the NC Statepolice, and the FBI, Oh and I almost forgot, The State of Connecticut also, can you say Connecticut? See I am licensed to carry concealed weapons in both states and every state in between! So if the feds can trust me with a "WEAPON" I beleive you can too. Not everyone who drinks is a drunk, not everyone who carries a gun is a killer, put a cork in it dude!

  • davidgnews Mar 28, 5:39 p.m.

    Given the headline, at what point does it NOT cause concern?

    Thanks.

  • RKBA Mar 28, 5:08 p.m.

    Let's see... Durham Parole office is "disturbed" that his team let murderers - to be run around unchecked, and now Raleigh PD is "concerned" about a murder escalation.

    What planet do these people live on?

    .

  • ncwebguy Mar 28, 4:44 p.m.

    "They are still in denial that there are no gangs in Raleigh or Durham."

    L-I-E spells lie. Raleigh and Durham police departments have gang units that document gang membership, colors, tags, etc.

    The sense of community has gone away because we are too busy arming to shoot that neighbor we don't trust instead of walking over and getting to know them. Or living in the country or gated communities so we don't have to see our neighbors.

    Then we go to church, and instead of learning to love our neighbors, sermons cover hatred of other races (Rev. Wright is only the tip of that iceburg), religious belief (not all Muslims are terrorists), etc. It is funny that police should have to walk beats to meet people, yet citizens are relieved of this? You aren't going to get to know your neighbors if you have to drive to a store where seeing a neighbor is not likely.

    If a student or paper delivery person was a victim, there would be attention. But "other" victims get nothing.

  • ncwebguy Mar 28, 4:24 p.m.

    At the seven/3 months rate, that would put Raleigh at 28 for the year, 6 more than last 2007 and 9 more than 2006. Is that "rampant"? But a cause of concern.

    Anyone who thinks RPD can walk their beats has never seen a map of the city's district system. Most of the murders have occured in 2-3 and 2-4, which have historically seen more crime than the rest of the city, yet have been assigned little to no more resources than the other areas of the city. A lot of the crime happens at the district borders -- far from district offices and patrolled less frequently because there are no shopping centers, donut shops, etc.

    No matter what some nutjobs think, guns *help* people kill people. And have server no other purpose than to inflict harm. You can not do any serious harm to me from ten feet away with a three foot cane, a baseball bat, a pencil, or a brick. A gun can inflict serious damage from 10 feet and further. And it provides an element of surprise the other "weapons" don't.

  • foetine Mar 28, 3:17 p.m.

    Raleigh turn into Baltimore? Raleigh turning into Durham is more like it.

  • TheAdmiral Mar 28, 2:21 p.m.

    hawkydave -

    They are still in denial that there are no gangs in Raleigh or Durham.

  • TheAdmiral Mar 28, 2:20 p.m.

    dixonpa -

    That is a load and you know it. I can give you a flesh wound and you would not die from it - I CAN cane you and you can die from that. Your statement that you are more likely to die from a gun would is stupidly ridiculous!

    Your more than likely going to be killed by my truck than you are a person with a gun - a bus - a bolt of lightning the odds are better than by someone who isn't supposed to have a gun (felon).

    This one template stamps all is a weak argument. You can be killed with a pencil through your eyeball into your brain - should we ban pencils?

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