Residents at ease after arrest of suspect in Raleigh shootings, rape
Posted September 1, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A man wanted in two Raleigh shootings, one of which was fatal, and a rape in less than 12 hours Monday was arrested Tuesday evening in New York City, police said.
Kendrick Keyanti Gregory was pulled over driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen from a New York parking lot, police said.
Gregory, 21, is charged with murder, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and first-degree rape.
Residents of the Brentwood area, where Gregory was spotted Monday night, say they were glad to hear the news of his capture. They say that the had felt anxious in their own homes.
Christine Kihou said she decided to walk her granddaughter to the bus stop on Monday morning, when Gregory was still on the run. Many other parents had the same idea.
"I was out here with her this morning and so were all the other mothers and father," Kihou said.
Kihou lives in the Brentwood West Apartments near New Hope Church Road. She said that the heavy police activity that she witnessed Monday night had her fearing for the safety of her family.
"I said 'lock the door'," Kihou said. "We never knew which way he was going."
Police spent much of Tuesday combing the Brentwood neighborhood in north Raleigh and other areas in Wake County as they received various tips about Gregory's whereabouts. No details about how he got to New York were provided.
According to investigators, Gregory shot and killed 64-year-old Thomas Melvin Durand at about 7 p.m. at the Mr. Pawn check-cashing shop in the 4600 block of Capital Boulevard. Durand owned the shop.
"I loved Tom like a brother," customer Phillip Ryman said. "I've seen times where, if it were not for him, my wife and I would not have eaten supper that night. He was that kind of guy. He'd do anything in the world for anybody."
A memorial grew outside Mr. Pawn on Tuesday, as customers and friends gathered to share stories of his generosity and sense of humor.
"I called him Mr. Pawn. Mr. Pawn was cool," said customer Yvonne Brown, echoing other customers who knew Durand not by his name but by the name of his shop. "I wanted to come and see if I can leave a note, flowers or something."
Ryman said Durand always carried a handgun while working, but he urged Durand to wear a bulletproof vest as well.
"Tom would shrug it off and say, 'If they're going to get me, they're going to get me,'" he said. "He's going to be missed. He was one great guy, great guy. I wish that I had taken the bullet for him."
Police wouldn't say whether Durand was armed Monday night or whether he exchanged gunfire with his killer.
Shooting suspect charged in teen's rape
Shortly after the Mr. Pawn shooting, police say Gregory raped a 15-year-old girl near Oak Forest Drive and Old Wake Forest Road.
"The guy held her at gunpoint. He had two guns," the girl's aunt told a 911 dispatcher. "He made her get in his car, and he took her somewhere and raped her.”
The man was driving a blue BMW and told the girl he had just shot somebody, her aunt said.
"He told her if she didn’t believe him, she could look at the guns. She said no, but he ended up showing her the guns," the aunt said.
A BMW was later found abandoned in the 3700 block of Huntleigh Drive, prompting police to urge residents of the surrounding Brentwood neighborhood to stay inside their homes Monday night.
That alert continued Tuesday, when a 1994 Toyota Corolla was stolen from the 3600 block of Greywood Drive.
Another armed robbery was reported at about 9:30 p.m. at International Foods, at 2215 New Hope Church Road. Shots were fired by a man matching Gregory's description, but police have not charged him in the incident. Nobody was hurt.
Gregory is also charged with robbing and shooting 27-year-old Lenin Alvaringa Monday morning in the 3800 block of New Bern Avenue. Authorities say a man approached Alvaringa from behind outside a motel, shot him in the back and robbed him of cash.
Alvaringa was taken to WakeMed following the shooting. Information about his condition has not been released.
The assailant left the motel in a blue car believed to be the BMW found late Monday in the Brentwood neighborhood.
Gregory has been arrested eight times since September 2013 on charges including misdemeanor larceny, trespassing and breaking and entering. He was convicted last week of breaking into cars and was sentenced to 18 months on probation.
He lived until recently in Wake Forest with his mother and siblings, but neighbors said Tuesday that they hadn't seen him for weeks. Before that, however, a neighbor said police were repeatedly at the home.
Kihou says she doesn't know why Gregory was motivated to commit the crimes, but that she will sleep easier knowing that he is in police custody.
"I can rest tonight," said Kihou.