'Unconscionable': North Carolina Central gives update after 2 men killed in on-campus shooting

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Durham Police ID two men killed in Saturday shooting
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Durham Police identified the two men killed in Saturday's shooting in a parking lot at NCCU.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina Central University held a news conference Monday afternoon following the deadly double shooting that happened in an on-campus parking surface Saturday night.

School leaders joined Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye for the briefing along with public safety officials.

"Let me assure everyone - the NCCU community and the public at large - that our campus is and remains a safe and healthy environment," said Akinleye, who also expressed his condolences to families of the victims. "While unforeseen tragedies such as these occur, this one took place too close to the heart of North Carolina Central University, where our students both live and learn. Over the past three years, we have invested more than $3 million in state-of-the-art security technology on our campus."

Authorities clarified that the shooting happened in a surface parking lot next to the Latham Parking Deck in the 700 block of E. Lawson Street.

Police gave additional details about Saturday's chaotic scene, which prompted officers to lock down the football stadium and surrounding area. The stadium was filled with people for NCCU's home game against Winston-Salem State.

Officers responded to the sound of shots in the parking lot shortly after 9 p.m. on Saturday. When they arrived, they found two men who had been shot. The men, identified as Shamori Brown, 21, and Tavis Rhodes, 20, both of Durham were taken to a hospital where they died a short time later.

RELATED: Loved ones remember victim Tavis Rhodes

"Violence of any kind, anywhere is unconscionable," Akinleye said. "We are pleading with the City of Durham, Durham County and North Carolina State officials to commit to devoting more resources and attention to combating the issues of crime in Durham. It is critical to protect the lives of individuals living and learning on our campus, those in the neighborhoods adjacent to NCCU and residents in the greater Durham community. This is an important matter of health and public safety for our students, faculty, staff and Durham residents. We will not live in fear or have our health and well-being at risk due to gun violence and crime. It has to stop today."

The suspect vehicle is described as a black Nissan Altima and this incident does not appear to be random, police said.

Derrick C. Stanfield, president of NCCU's Student Government Association, said "Saturday's occurrence is reflective of the growing issue of violence in the Durham community and its overflow onto our campus. I am confident in our university's commitment to ensuring the safety of the members of our university community. The Student Government Association will continue to support and assist University Police in their efforts to continue to provide a safe environment for our students to learn."

This case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Mitchell at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29335 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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