Loved ones remember Cary man shot, killed while on a walk

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Loved ones remember Cary man shot, killed while on a walk
Loved ones remember Cary man shot, killed while on a walk

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cary Police continue to investigate the town's first homicide of the year.

Officers found Selvaraju Vellingiri, 55, shot dead on the 100 block of Connemara Drive in the Somerset Community just after 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Cary Police continue to investigate the town's first homicide of the year.

"I couldn't believe it. I thought maybe it was somebody else, maybe they were giving the wrong information. I couldn't believe that this happened to him because we know him. As soon as I found out, I called one of his friends and he said, 'No you are lying. Don't tell me this.' Because nobody believed this happened to him," said Mohan Vairakkannu, a friend of Vellingiri.

Vairakkannu and Vellingiri had previously served together on the Board of Directors for Tamil Sangam of Carolina, a nonprofit organization that hosts cultural events and fundraisers.

Vairakkannu described his friend as bright, well-read and a doting husband and father.

"He loved his daughter like everybody. He had a lot of dreams (for his daughter)," said Vairakkannu.

Vellingiri left his home to take a walk on Aug. 27, an activity he often did by himself during the week and in a larger group on weekends.

"He didn't fight with anybody, he didn't argue with anybody. So that's why it's very shocking," said Vairakkannu.

On Saturday, Cary police released the 911 call made on Thursday reporting the shooting. The 'concerned citizen' called in to dispatch saying she heard five gunshots go off in the vicinity.

911 caller says she heard 5 shots before 55-year-old man found dead in Cary neighborhood

"I've never heard-- it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop in a row," the caller said.

The caller even said she saw a person run through their yard shortly after the shots.

A Cary Police Department spokesperson told ABC11 that the investigation is ongoing, and at this time they do not think there is a threat to the public.

"This can happen to anybody, right. It happened in the daylight," said Vairakkannu.

Vellingiri's family held a funeral for him last week, and a candlelight vigil took place Monday night at Bond Park Sertoma Amphitheatre until 7:30 PM.

Traditional chants blared on the speakers in Bond Park amphitheater as mourners left a lit candle for Vellingiri.

While many who came come from a culture that believes losing a person brings a gained understanding of the meaning of life; a week and half since the murder, understanding is still hard to come by.

"We are disbelief, that's what I can say. We are not able to accept that this happened. And we are still trying to process what happened," said Vellingiri's friend Siva Annadurai.

Vellingiri's heartbroken widow, Kalaiselvi, sat in the front row of the prayer vigil. At many times she overcome with emotion as speakers offered their condolences from on stage and via Zoom.

"Our heart goes out to the family. Let us get on to tell his story," said Morrisville Town Councilo Steve Rao.

Cary Police Captain Robert Carey was one of the dozens who left a candle Monday night. "Even though we're a 170,000 plus people, we still consider all of our citizens like family," Carey said. "So, when we lose a family member, it's important for us to come out and pay our respects - also to show support for the family."

Cary is routinely ranked as one of the safest towns in America. The random murder has shaken the citizenry. After eleven days and no arrests, law enforcement leaders are trying to reassure the public.

"A few days ago, I had the privilege of meeting with Mrs. Sulur and sharing with her how saddened our entire community is over her husband's terrible death. As I said during our time together, I do not presume to know the depth of this loss. The one thing I can offer is that, if this were my loved one, I am and would be satisfied with the pace and course of the investigation thus far," said Cary Police Chief Toni Dezomits in a statement released Monday night. "Thanks to everyone involved for their collaboration, dedication, energy, professionalism and commitment to justice as we work together through the myriad of steps that are required in these tragic circumstances. With the continued support of Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and the Cary Town Council along with Town Manager and CEO Sean R. Stegall, we will solve this crime. We will continue to do all that we can to keep Cary, NC a safe place to pursue one's dreams."

If you have any information on this case, call Cary Police at (919) 469-4012.