Local News

Durham Police Charge Suspect In School-Bus Shooting

Posted Updated

DURHAM, N.C. — Durham police investigators arrested 21-year-old Mike Dwayne Brown on Monday night and charged him with firing a gun into an occupied school bus last week on Merrick Street.

Brown was charged with 17 felony counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held in the Durham County Jail on one-million dollars bond.

The bus driver and two students from Pearsontown Elementary School suffered minor injuries when a bullet shattered the back window of the bus as it traveled on Merrick Street on Dec. 2.

At the time of his arrest Monday, Brown was on probation for shooting into a Durham Area Transit Authority bus in January of 2001 and injuring a 16-year-old woman.

Brown was arrested Monday night without incident at his home by investigators from the Durham Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit and officers from the N.C. Division of Community Corrections.

The shooting of the bus allegedly stemmed from a recent dispute between Brown and another man.

The names of possible co-conspirators were being followed up on at the time of Brown's. Investigators are still developing information, and the investigation is ongoing.

"I am extremely pleased that we have been able to identify and apprehend a suspect in this heinous violent crime," said Interim Police Chief Steve Chalmers. "This type of activity will not be tolerated, and I would like to commend all the officers who took part in the investigation and who assisted in the apprehension."

According to police, several useful pieces of information were developed during neighborhood canvasses, and tips were being called into the police department on a regular basis.

"Here is another example of the value of coordinated efforts between the police department, law enforcement agencies and the community at large," said Sgt. A.R. Marsh of the Violent Crimes Division.

"Lead investigator B.J. Kilgore has been working diligently on this investigation since its occurrence. We are certainly grateful for the invaluable assistance of the officers from the Division of Community Corrections, and high praise must go out to our citizens who chose to empower themselves and take an active role in the policing of their community."

City leaders said they were pleased an arrest had been made in the high-profile case.

"I want to congratulate the Police Department for the work they did," said Mayor Bill Bell. "I hope this sends a signal to persons inclined to do the same thing that they will get caught."

Said City Manager Marcia Conner: "We are very happy that the suspect has been caught. I would like to thank the Police Department for moving posthaste to make an arrest in this case that had a significant impact on the community."

The identities of the two other suspects have yet to be determined. But investigators said they continue to follow all available leads.

Anyone having information about the identities of the other suspects is urged to contact Kilgore at 560-4440, ext. 260, or Durham CrimeStoppers at 683-1200.

CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases.

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