Man gunned down in East Durham neighborhood

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 07:26 PM

A 37-year-old Durham man was shot to death Tuesday in the street of an East Durham neighborhood.

Police were called to the 100 block of North Hyde Park Avenue, near Alston Avenue, at 11:40 a.m. and found Jermaine Andre McDonald, 37, lying in the street. He had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Kammie Michael, spokeswoman for the Durham Police Department.

Investigators said the shooting did not appear to be a random act. No charges had been filed Tuesday night.

McDonald’s criminal history dates to 1996, and includes a 2007 conviction in Durham County for robbery with a dangerous weapon, for which he was imprisoned until last year.

Large crowds gathered Tuesday afternoon in the neighborhood of modest, single-family houses on the outskirts of downtown as police gathered evidence. A woman burst into tears and nearly collapsed as others tried to console her.

A neighbor, Jo Ann Emmons, said she heard shots while on her backyard deck.

“I knew what it was,” she said. “So I came in the house, closed the door and locked it, and said [to her mother]: ‘Stay in the house!’ ”

Emmons said she heard “someone holler,” so she went to the front of the house, looked out the window and saw a woman in the road crying and screaming.

She said was told that the shooting “may have been over some children fighting – young children, not teenagers. That’s what we were told by one of the ladies who came from down there [several houses away]. And if that’s the truth, then that was a very senseless shooting. I mean, any shooting is senseless, but that’s a very senseless one.”

Emmons’s mother, Marie Paschall, has lived in the same house on North Hyde Park Avenue for 52 years. She said the neighborhood has had its ups and downs.

“I’m not surprised [by the shooting],” she said, “but I think it’s stupid, if the reason for it is what they say.”

Police have not publicly speculated on a motive for the slaying.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator M. Evans at 919-560-4440, ext. 29336 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.