Popular homeless man murdered

April 18, 2008 2:20:22 PM PDT
A familiar face is noticeably absent at a busy Durham intersection -- a man known for his crutches and a sign asking for donations.

Police say William Davis was stabbed to death.

"I'm very saddened about it -- to know that he's not there anymore," motorist Mickey Johnson said.

Johnson left money inside a shoe at a makeshift memorial at the intersection of Roxboro and Morehead streets in Durham. It's where 39-year-old Davis, affectionately know as Hood Hop" stood on one leg with crutches, holding a sign for donations.

"He was kind of a local figure,": motorists Michael Gagnon said. "You got used to seeing him on the corner everyday."

Durham Police say Davis was stabbed to death over the weekend. His body was left lying in the streets of a neighborhood. He was homeless but not without help.

"Mostly, I would try to steer him in the right direction of life," Johnson said. And it was working.

Davis would often visit the Urban Ministries where Travis Sellers works.

He was going to Bible study and taking drug abuse classes.

"We're looking at a handicapped man that didn't let life beat him down because he had an amputated leg," Sellers said. "He made me inspired because there were days when I wanted to sit down, but he was standing up." Standing at a busy intersection.

If there's a lesson in his murder Sellers said, "just don't take life for granted." Or people for that matter.

"Some people see people on the street so many times, and they think they're nobody," Johnson said. "But they are somebody. That's somebody's son out there."

A funeral was held for Davis in Kittrell Friday.

Police are still searching for his killer.


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