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Soldier's death prompts call for end to southeast Raleigh violence

Posted August 3, 2011

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— One year after a soldier was gunned down on a porch in southeast Raleigh, his family and friends gathered Wednesday night to hold a vigil in his honor and to call for an end to violence in the neighborhood.

Ezekiel Abanishe "Zeke" Crowder, 30, was sitting outside a home on Hay Lane on Aug. 3, 2010, when someone walked up to the house and opened fire, police said. Crowder died and another man was wounded.

Police haven't charged anyone in the shooting.

"The kids, they still ask. My 5-year-old still asks, 'Is he coming back?' So, it's been hard," Crowder's widow, Shelonda Crowder, said Wednesday. "I want whoever did it to be found, but it's still going to be a loss for us."

Family and friends marked the anniversary of his death by lighting candles, saying prayers and releasing balloons into the sky. They said they wanted to make sure his life isn't forgotten and to send a message to the community that they won't stand for violence.

"It starts with us making a statement that we are tired and it's time for a change, and we're not going to stop until somebody hears our voice," Rev. Diana Powell said.

Ezekiel Crowder vigil Soldier's death prompts call for end to southeast Raleigh violence

Homicides in southeast Raleigh have declined in recent years, from a high of 21 in 2008 to seven in 2009 and three last year. Police credit increased patrols and better community programs and communication for the drop.

A group called Project Richochet helped organize the vigil. Andrew Cann said the group works to keep youth from going down a criminal path.

"It's never going to be an easy job, but it's worthwhile," Cann said.

Anyone with information about Crowder's shooting is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

31 Comments

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  • gottabkidnme Aug 4, 2011

    Its funny to me how some folks are trying to be "racially correct" or a choice of better words would be "safe". These are the same cowards who have so much to say about SE Raleigh and other neighborhoods only because they can seek refuge in their overpriced homes in their overrated neighborhoods. Well frankly you should be concerned and proactive in attempting to revitalize these areas. Crime can and has spilled into your fancy hoods, so you're not all that safe either. Stop complaining and criticizing and come up with a solution. Or is it that some things will never change; this isn't the '60s ya know!

  • genralwayne Aug 4, 2011

    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

    Law-abiding citizens cooperating with police is beneficial to society as a whole. However, to root out any serious infestation, one must dig into the holes, shadows and crannies where it festers. Loving and indifferent families looking the other way is where we need to start. Sounds like this community has the right idea. (See, 2Kidz - I hear ya. I just don't hold much faith in humanity following through these days.)

  • nascarguy Aug 4, 2011

    Good. Looks like the community is taking positive steps. I've always believed the law abiding citizens and their cooperation with law enforcement are the strongest deterrent against crime.

    I also hope the parents and other locals refuse to tolerate attitudes and lyrics in music casting police as the enemy which seems so prevalent today. Sorry for their loss.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Aug 4, 2011

    DJOFRALEIGH: "Have you ever been on the corner in front of the store at Hay and Lenoir at midnight and after?"

    Nope! I don't have ANY reason to go to that part of Raleigh in the daytime, much less, nighttime. As far as my life is concerned, that part of Raleigh doesn't exist.
    Nice on paper DeathRow, but the problem is that the area does exist. And every now and then violence from that area spills over into the suburbs, ala Eve Carson, and then we have an uproar.

  • jollyrogered Aug 4, 2011

    For crimes like this to be stopped it is absolutely imperative that the local community take action. There needs to be more community awareness, more interaction with police officers, and from the statistics it sounds like they are doing a good job.

  • 2kidz1hub Aug 4, 2011

    blasernj---says "2kiz1hub, it is you who is not opening your eyes. You're the person who lives in the suburbs and try to be open hearted, and say "crime happens everywhere". Thats false. Crime happens in SE Raleigh because drugs and gangs are tolerated and glorified."

    WRONG---I DO live in SE Raleigh. And know my neighborhood and my neighbors. And we are very mindful of our neighborhood and what happens there. We are not low income or seniors. And we could live anywhere in Wake County that we want but this was our CHOICE---like I said crime happens everywhere---not just in SE Raleigh.

    Stop looking down your nose at others and where they live. You never know who lives near you!

  • genralwayne Aug 4, 2011

    "genralwayne...Open your eyes and ears and stop being closed minded. 2kidz1hub"

    Are you listening, 2kidz? My neighborhood is safe because the families living there won't tolerate lawlessness from their kids. My kids knew what I expected from them and what I would do if they fell onto the wrong side of the law.

    I'm speaking from twenty-years experience behind a badge. The best crime prevention and crimestopper programs in the world can never take the place of a strong adult role model at home. You can't change a neighborhood until you take responsibility for your own home.

  • teachsueboo Aug 4, 2011

    The people who live in areas that are ridden with crime need to take a stand and tell those criminals and gang members that they are not going to take it anymore! If gangs are being glorified, it's a shame....where are the families who are supposed to be supporting these young people? Are these kids allowed to just do whatever they wish? Seriously, there comes a time where enough is enough. Too many have died by loose bullets and not enough is being done to help. The communities need to stand together and unify.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 4, 2011

    DJOFRALEIGH: "Have you ever been on the corner in front of the store at Hay and Lenoir at midnight and after?"

    Nope! I don't have ANY reason to go to that part of Raleigh in the daytime, much less, nighttime. As far as my life is concerned, that part of Raleigh doesn't exist.

  • danunger Aug 4, 2011

    No doubt the shooter is a first time criminal. Bang criminals hard the first time and let them know it will not be tolerated. Make gun crimes a long hard jail sentence from the git. Will you stop them all, no, will it make a large majority think twice, probably. Look at the middle east, steal something, lose a hand, thats harsh, but it works.

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