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Police: Retired Durham firefighter's death a homicide

Posted July 10, 2012

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— A retired Durham firefighter found dead inside his home Monday was the victim of a homicide, police said Tuesday.

Donald Watson, 74, was found at 4424 Regis Ave. 

A caller to 911 described a bloody scene, saying Watson's face was covered in blood. But the caller was unsure whether Watson had been attacked or had simply collapsed and hit a bookcase, saying there was shattered glass on the floor near his body.

Police classified the death as a homicide Tuesday, but did not release details about how Watson died.

Anyone with information is asked to call 919-560-4440, ext. 29341 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.

Neighbors said police have told them there is no reason they should be concerned for their safety. They said Watson was a beloved part of the community.

Watson worked for the Durham Fire Department from 1959 to 1992. He retired as a fire captain.


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  • glennca Jul 13, 2012

    yep sure is!!!

  • Milkman Jul 12, 2012

    Sad that Durham lost a great man this week.

  • glennca Jul 12, 2012

    And for the people that have been posting offensive statements can stop because none of yall have any reason going around making rude statements about Durham and a dead parson yall must be really low and have nothing to talk about.

  • glennca Jul 11, 2012

    Sad, He was my Great Grandad!!!!
    I will miss him!!

  • yankee1 Jul 10, 2012

    C'mon whyalltheproblems- The same people that kill kids, members of their own neighborhoods and innocent business owners then get set free by lenient judges with the help of bleeding heart liberals!

  • Coach K is still GREAT Jul 10, 2012

    "It's Durham......of course he was attacked."

    jmf1073 6.0

    Well of course, since no one in Durham ever dies of natural causes, right?

    Hoping the best for this man's family.


    Looks to me like jmf1073 6.0 was right afterall... hp277 I think jmf will accept your apology, he seems like a reasonable person... ;-)

    Prayers for this family!

  • bombayrunner Jul 10, 2012

    yep, gone all this way through the dangers of a job to wind up getting it right at home. RIP brother

  • The Fox Jul 10, 2012

    What a shame to go out that way. RIP Cap'in

  • djofraleigh Jul 10, 2012

    In 2009, Durham and Fayetteville had 21 murders...Raleigh had 14, and Cary 1.

    Take Alston Ave out of the picture, and some streets off it, and Durham would look better.

    Durham and Fayetteville are high crime rates. Most crimes are committed by young males 16-39, so Ft Bragg has a lot to do with that. Durham is the crime king of the triangle, but Robeson County is the most crime ridden county. Dare County on the Outer Banks has high crime.

    Murder isn't the best measure being so few, and varied, but dead bodies are easy to count. Violent crime rates are a good measure. Burglaries are too.

  • whyalltheproblems Jul 10, 2012

    so sad...
    what disgusting-beings would do something like this to a 74 year old man?
    I'm so very sorry for his family.