Durham train victim had just been released from jail
Jerome Brandon walked out of the Durham County Jail on Monday at 3:42 p.m.
He’d been arrested three days earlier on fairly minor charges – shoplifting, second-degree trespassing and intoxicated and disruptive behavior.
About 20 minutes after his release, Brandon died while walking on railroad tracks in downtown Durham. His back was to the Norfolk Southern freight train, according to police.
It’s still not clear why he was on the tracks that day.
Deputy Paul Sherwin, spokesman for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, said nothing stood out about Brandon that afternoon.
“The supervisor in charge of inmate release says he did not observe anything unusual about Mr. Brandon,” Sherwin said.
Brandon, known as “Pooh” among his friends and relatives, was 31. His obituary notice described him as “very kind, loving and respectful.”
“At times he was very wise and intelligent,” the notice read.
He attended Durham Public Schools and earned his GED from Durham Technical Community College.
But he had some troubles, records show. He mostly had minor brushes with the law involving burglaries and disorderly conduct, but Brandon was booked into the jail at least 21 times since 2001.
The obituary notice described him as a generous person who “would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”
“He knew about the resurrection hope and believed in it,” it read.
His funeral is planned for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ellis D. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel, 419 Dowd St. in Durham.
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