Police investigate death at Durham home

June 4, 2010 1:23:04 PM PDT
Durham police are investigating a death at a Durham home after relatives say a family stopped a would-be burglar.

Officers responded to a home on Ross Road around 3:44 a.m. Tuesday. Durham police Chief Jose Lopez was at the scene, but did not release any details about the case.

A 911 call from a child inside that home explained what happened.

    Caller: At Ross Road, we got a person shot. Can you come as fast as you can, please?
    Dispatcher: Someone's shot?
    Caller: They came to rob our house.
    Dispatcher: Who got shot?
    Caller: This man, just one.
    Dispatcher: Okay, listen, he came in the house and who shot him?
    Caller: Um, we had, we had guns.
    Dispatcher: Who had guns?
    Caller: We, because we tried to defend ourselves.

The 12-year-old boy went on to explain there were 12 people at the house overnight.

The family that lives in the house owns a painting company and several people were home when an alleged burglar entered the house. According to a relative, two men tried to break-in overnight, but a family member shot and killed one of the intruders.

Durham police have not said if they are investigating the death as self-defense, but they have interviewed several people.

Police say the man who was shot was 27-year-old Lemuel Zekena Sherman. The second man, 27-year-old Michael Hall, was arrested a short time later. He's charged with first degree kidnapping burglary attempted robbery and impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Neighbors told ABC11 Eyewitness News they heard gunfire around 3 a.m. but were not alarmed given recent activity in the neighborhood. They say there have been minor break-ins in the area.

Durham crime data shows a total of eight cases of larcenies, vehicle thefts or robberies in the surrounding area, which is in east Durham.

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