Mother of murder victim pleads for end to violence

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Her son, Nicholas Bell became Durham's first homicide victim of 2016.

The mother of a Durham man found shot to death behind a house over the weekend is pleading for an end to violence in the Bull City.

Edna Bell is the mother of nine children, all adopted. Nicholas Bell was one of her oldest sons. On Sunday, Durham police found his body behind a house on the 2800 block of Ashe St. They're investigating the 20-year-old's death as a homicide, the first in Durham in 2016.

Bell said her son Nick was on the right path in life. She said he was an athlete, a talented drummer, and was living in that house on Ashe Street with his friends.

RELATED: POLICE IDENTIFY BELL AS CITY'S FIRST HOMICIDE VICTIM OF 2016

"He really just wanted to turn his life over to the Lord and just do the right thing," she said.

Bell said Nick came over to visit her and his siblings on Christmas Day and that was the last time she saw him.

Bill Bell, Durham's Mayor addressed the violence on Thursday as the city searches for a permanent police chief. He said the police department is mobilizing a special operations unit with more officers dedicated to combating the crime and cracking down on those few responsible.

When asked why she thought her son got caught up in the violence, Edna Bell said, "That's a good question- why is it happening? To our young people? The shooting, the drugs, the- I'm tired. I just want it to quit and stop. The love of Jesus just needs to come out on the kids."

RELATED: DURHAM ROLLS OUT PLAN TO COMBAT VIOLENCE

Bell sat down with ABC11 in her living room Thursday night, packed with fellow church members and leaders from across Durham. She said they're already planning ways they can better reach out to the youth and prevent further violence.

"It matters to me that the young people- that we grab them and embrace them and let them know we are here," she said. "I don't care who's child it is. I don't care."

Durham police have not made any arrests in Nicholas Bell's homicide.

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