Durham County

Relatives of boy fatally shot in Durham say family wanted to flee violence in city

Police chief shares eyewitness accounts on shooting of 7-year-old boy

Video: Durham Chief of Police Cerelyn "C.J." Davis gives a statement containing information from eyewitnesses to the recent shooting of a 7-year-old boy during a press conference on Monday June 5, 2017, in Durham, NC.
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Video: Durham Chief of Police Cerelyn "C.J." Davis gives a statement containing information from eyewitnesses to the recent shooting of a 7-year-old boy during a press conference on Monday June 5, 2017, in Durham, NC.

The first women who called 911 told a dispatcher they know who shot into an SUV and killed a 7-year-old boy.

“We know exactly who did it,” one woman told the dispatcher. “We know exactly where he live at.”

Kamari Munerlyn was fatally shot on Hillandale Road on Sunday after leaving a swimming pool, Police Chief C.J Davis said Monday.

Kamari was in a Honda Pilot SUV with by five adults, including his mother, and four other children, headed north on Hillandale Road near Peppertree Street.

A witness told investigators that a vehicle occupied by several people started to tailgate the Honda Pilot before it sped up and pulled beside the moving Honda SUV. Several shots were fired at the Honda from the suspect vehicle, Davis said.

Kamari was sitting in the third row of the Honda when a bullet struck his body.

One of the SUV’s tires was punctured by a bullet, and the driver pulled over. The Honda stopped in the parking lot of the Tokyo Express on Guess Road.

Police officers responded to the shooting call at 4:59 p.m. and a Durham Police K9 officer performed CPR on the 7-year-old until an ambulance arrived.

Kamari was the only occupant of the Honda who was injured. EMS workers took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A grieving family

Relatives said Kamari’s father wanted to move with the boy to Arizona to flee the violence in Durham.

“It was horrible situation where they were living. Dangerous,” said Delores Baker, the father’s cousin.

Kamari was a first grader at Eastway Elementary School. He loved playing with cars and the cartoon “PAW Patrol,” his relatives said

“It was his favorite show,” said his aunt, Mika Mitchell, 24, who lives in Arizona.

The women said they were devastated.

“It’s a nightmare,” Baker said. “I don’t know how to put that into words. Devastated to the 25th power.”

Kamari’s father had dropped his son off at his mother’s on Sunday, Baker said. The mother was in the SUV with Kamari, but not the father, Baker said.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help pay for Kamari’s funeral: http://bit.ly/2s9A8aZ

An investigation

One adult male passenger in the Honda Pilot fled the shooting scene on foot before police arrived, and Davis said two other adult male passengers left the scene and went to a local hospital.

“The incident doesn’t appear to be random and investigators are following promising leads,” police spokesman Wil Glenn wrote in an email.

Police have interviewed several people but made no arrests.

“We are working aggressively to identify the people involved,” Davis said.

Glenn said police do not think the shooting is related to another drive-by shooting Sunday outside of Emerald City Ultra Bar and Lounge on Chapel Hill Road.

“What goes through people’s minds? To think that you would shoot an occupied vehicle, no matter how mad you were with somebody, no matter what the situation was, it’s hard to imagine,” said Durham City Manager Thomas Bonfield.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J. Mitchell at 919-560-4440 or to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers do not have to identify themselves.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges

How to help

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J. Mitchell at 919-560-4440 or to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers do not have to identify themselves.

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