RALEIGH, N.C. — A fatal shooting in southeast Raleigh has spurred community leaders there to rally neighbors together in an effort to end the violence.
The Memorial Day slaying of Rodriquez D’Shay Burrell, 18, prompted Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association, to plan a vigil and a march for noon on Saturday in an effort to bring the issue to the forefront of the community.
Six of the city's eight homicides this year have occurred in southeast Raleigh.
Burrell, the latest victim, was sitting outside his father's house at 500 Haywood St., when he was shot several times, including once in the head, his mother, Tammy Crowder, said.
"I knew one day – I (told him), 'Rodriguez, slow down, those streets are going to kill you,’" she said. "I'm still waiting on my baby to come home. It hasn't hit me yet."
Crowder said he was recently released in prison, having served time for an involvement with drugs. Police have not identified any suspects in his death.
"It just seems to be getting a little much," Coleman said. "A lot of people that are in this area are without jobs – hopelessness – and then, there are just some people that are naturally inclined not to do the right thing."
Raleigh police said Wednesday that despite the homicides, violent crime – homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – is down nearly 11 percent in the southeast Raleigh police district. Property crimes, such as burglaries and larcenies, are about the same as last year.
Police Chief Harry Dolan credits the progress to an increased police presence and a police substation in the area.
"These crimes that have been committed by individuals bent on disorder," Dolan said. "With good community support, hoodlums will go to jail. But most importantly, we're going to look to the future for the next generation."
Saturday's rally, at the corner of South Haywood and East Cabarrus streets, is aimed, organizers said, to help prevent further crimes such as Burrell's death.
"We have to turn these tragedies into a call for action," Dolan said.