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Raleigh, Durham Police Baffled By Rising Murder Rates

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RALEIGH — Random killings have put residents in the Triangle's two biggest cities on edge. Many residents are questioning their safety as the murder rates are skyrocketing.

On May 28, a95-year-old man was murdereda few blocks from his Durham home. On May 18, a30-year-old Raleigh man was killedas he checked his mail in the post office.

Lt. Gerald Britt of the Raleigh Police Department says murders where victims are targeted by someone they do not know do not happen very often.

"Generally the homicides that we have, the people are known to each other or have been involved in the past with each other," Britt says.

Murders are happening more often this year in the Triangle's two biggest cities. In May 1999, there were 10 murders in Raleigh and three in Durham. In May 2000, there have been 13 murders in Raleigh and 10 in Durham.

Police in Durham and Raleigh are baffled by the increase, but they say it is something they have seen before.

"We've had two domestic homicides. We have had several that are robbery-related and several that are dispute-related so there is no type of pattern to it," says Lt. Eddie Sarvis of the Durham Police Department. "It is just a lot of senseless violence that is going on."

Lt. Britt says some years are just more violent than others.

"There's really no way to control it," Britt says. "The patterns go up and down from year to year. There is just no way to explain it."

In 1998, Durham had 28 murders. Raleigh had 29.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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