Police investigate two new possible homicides

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 07:37 PM

A 41-year-old man was shot repeatedly outside a house Monday night and later died at the hospital, and a woman’s body was found Tuesday in an apartment.

The deaths bring to number of city homicides in the past five weeks to eight.

Officers were called at 9:09 p.m. to the 300 block of East Umstead Street to investigate reports of a shooting, and found that Travis Knight of Armitage Court had been shot “several times.” He was rushed to Duke University Hospital and later died.

Police did not identify the exact address where the shooting happened, but the low-income neighborhood is near the former J.A. Whitted School and Operation Breakthrough, off Roxboro Street.

A man who lives nearby said Tuesday that he “knew of” the victim.

“I heard he had been shot and was dead,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said. “He was a quiet dude. But that’s sad, man, really sad.”

Investigators continued Tuesday trying to develop leads in the slaying.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said in an interview from Wilmington, where he is attending a conference, that no motive has been determined for the death.

“I think it’s just too early [to pin down] motive,” Lopez said. “We’re still investigating it, and we urge anybody who knows anything to come forward. We’ll continue to look at ways to address this violence.”

Lopez said no link to earlier homicides has been established.

“At this time, there’s nothing that says to me that there’s a connection to any other [homicides],” Lopez said. “The investigators are still out there, and that could change.”

Police are also investigating what they termed “a suspicious death” at an apartment at Greens of Pine Glen in southern Durham.

Officers were called to the apartment at 10 a.m. Tuesday to check on the welfare of a resident in the 6400 block of Greens Hollow Lane, and found a woman dead inside.

Police did not release her name Tuesday.

The cause of death had not been determined Tuesday evening, but police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said it “appears to be suspicious” and is being investigated as a homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Cristaldi at 919-560-4440, ext. 29322 or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers never have to identify themselves.