Homicides double since year ago

June 19, 2008 7:02:29 AM PDT
After four deadly shootings over the last week, the number of murders in the capital city stands at 15, which is about double the total this time last year.Police have not pinned downed a rhyme or reason for the increase.

What makes it even more disturbing is that the suspects wanted in the latest four murders are still at large.

A memorial marks the scene where a drive by shooting killed a 21-year-old mother.

Eight days later the crime remains unsolved and neighbors too shaken to talk about it.

"Clearly, murders are something that's of great concern," said Jim Sughrue, a spokesman for Raleigh Police. "Whether that increase is just an unusual event, an anomaly or representative of something else is just impossible to say right now."

Police are still looking for 22-year-old Khaleel Oyeneyin who they believe gunned down his pregnant girlfriend in her Larson Drive apartment June 7.

Authorities are also seeking 18-year-old Fruikwan Stewart who they believe killed 14-year-old Damian Dunn last Friday at Walnut Terrace.

And Erick Mendoza is still at large for the alleged murder of Miguel Martinez.

The spike in murders are a part of a slight rise in crime overall that has robberies up about 36 percent, motor vehicle thefts up 28 cases and rapes down.

With half of the year ahead though, officials say it's too early to draw any conclusions.

"We know from past experience that the first half of a year and the last half of a year can be quite different," Sughrue said.

Police say they rely heavily on the community to give them information to spot, prevent and prosecute crime.

Anyone with information on any crimes should call Raleigh Police.


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