Crime

‘It hurts so bad.’ Family of Durham man killed in 2002 asks for help in cold case.

Lamar Perry was killed in a shooting outside an apartment at 2130 South Roxboro Road around 2 a.m. on June 19, 2002. Police are looking for information around his arrest.
Lamar Perry was killed in a shooting outside an apartment at 2130 South Roxboro Road around 2 a.m. on June 19, 2002. Police are looking for information around his arrest.

Arrid Owens returned to the two-story apartment building where her 24-year-old boyfriend was gunned down more than 17 years ago, and the grief quickly took hold.

“It just brought back so many memories,” said Owens, 38. “It hurts so bad.”

On June 19, 2002, Lamar Perry, who had a son with Owens, was dropped off by friends at his girlfriend’s apartment at 2130 S. Roxboro St. around 2 a.m., said Durham Police Department Sgt. Raul Garcia. Perry got out of the car and noticed something going on in a dark area near the apartment building.

“Soon after, shots rang out,” Garcia said.

His friends in the car took off in panic, and Perry ran toward a ditch and collapsed. They came back and rushed him to Duke University Hospital, where the father of a now 21-year-old died.

Tuesday’s briefing was the latest in a series of monthly events the Police Department started in July to help crack the city’s roughly 250 unsolved homicides since the 1950s.

Durham averages roughly three dozen homicides a year. In 2017 and 2018 police cleared through arrest or other actions 86 percent and 75 percent of homicide cases respectively, according to a quarterly report presented to the City Council. Cities similar to Durham’s size cleared about 53 percent of those cases and all cities cleared about 62 percent, according to the FBI.

The Police Department has set up a cold case website and a phone number, 919-560-4118, to report information. Anonymous tips can also be reported to Crime Stoppers, which offers an up to $2,000 reward for information., at 919-683-1200.

Shell casings, gun found

After the 2002 shooting, police collected shell casings. A year later, police found the gun they believe was used to kill Perry.

Too much time had elapsed to connect the gun with a potential killer, Garcia said. Investigators have explored other leads without success, he said.

Edith Perry said the shooter isn’t responsible for just her brother’s death, but her mother’s too.

“After this happened my mother died,” at age 54, Edith Perry said. “She was so heartbroken, she didn’t want to live anymore.”

Edith Perry pleaded for those involved or who know those who may have been involved to come forward.

“Please talk and let us know who did this,” she said. “There is so much stuff going on with all these shootings. It could be your family, and you might need somebody to talk and help you out.”

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