Rash of homicides prompting concern

June 28, 2011 6:30:18 AM PDT
It was just a few months ago that the City of Durham touted a significant drop in violent and property crimes.However, a string of recent violence in the Bull City is now raising new concerns.

Last Friday, a triple shooting left one man dead and two others wounded.

A few days before that, a driver on the Durham Freeway was fatally shot before crashing his car. Then, a high school football player just visiting the city was shot and killed in a parking lot by a man from Texas.

"It sounds weird, it sounds crazy," Durham resident Donald Banks said.

"I thought it was just an awful, awful thing to happen," Durham resident Joanna George said.

It's happening just months after Durham leaders released an annual crime report, touting a 10-year low in violent and property crimes. However, now there's concern for future crime.

"That's the sad thing, back in my day there were just fights. Nowadays people carry guns," Durham resident Cheryl Sanders said.

According to Durham police, this time last year there were 15 murders - including one officer involved shooting. But, recent cases add up to 18 homicides so far this year, possibly putting Durham on track to surpass last year's total - 25 people killed in all.

Durham's police chief points to youth crime.

"We really need to address our youth violence," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said. "We need to address how individuals are using violence to deal with a lot of their issues."

Issues, according to some Durham residents, often made worse by the very communities and agencies meant to stop them.

"I think you could contribute it to several different things, the government, environmental, I think social," Durham resident Abena Bediako said.

"I don't think it's youth and summertime, I think it's just we're not teaching our children what they should know," George said.

Durham's police chief insists this is not just a problem in the Bull City, but also nationwide. He also admits it does not bode well for the city's image.

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