Local News

Durham police seek leads in recent shootings

Posted June 24, 2009

Durham police went door-to-door Wednesday with citizens of Project Safe Neighborhood to send a clear message after a weekend shooting.

"We're going out to primarily reassure the community that it's safe," Deputy Police Chief B.J. Council said.

Council said it is also about getting more leads to three recent shootings involving young people so they can file charges.

Investigators said a 16-year-old girl was with friends in a parking lot on Atka Court Saturday night when a man walked up shortly before midnight, fired shots into the crowd and struck her in the back of the head.

A male was seen running to a dark-colored SUV with three other people. It sped away from the scene.

Atka Court shooting - 16-year-old shot in the head Police probe weekend shooting

On June 14, a 7-year-old boy was shot in the 2300 block of Hart Street when someone shot him from a gray vehicle similar to a Chrysler PT Cruiser.

And on May 23, a 7-year-old girl was shot in the foot while standing outside an apartment at 1126 S. Hoover Road. Witnesses reported seeing shots fired from a green four-door vehicle, possibly similar to a Ford Escort.

"It's a little bit more concerning when we have innocent bystanders, especially as young as the ones we've seen recently," Council said.

So far, police have few leads. They believe there are people in the community who know something but might be afraid to come forward.

"It's just the frustration that this is occurring, and we can't resolve it," Council said.

Council wants people to know they can come forward and remain anonymous.

"It's extremely important for the community to get involved, because no crime is solved without someone telling the police," he said.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell agrees.

"People should not have to live in fear or apprehension of living in their neighborhoods, walking down the street, standing on the street," he said. "We can remove that fear if we can get rid of those people making those problems."

Anyone with information about any of the crimes is asked to call Durham police at 919-560-4281 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

"I would only ask that they put themselves in the shoes of the victims or families or friends of the victims," Bell said.

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