89 percent of shootings in Durham in 2020 are unsolved, police say

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — From neighborhood drive-by shootings to rolling shootouts on the roadway, there were 966 shooting incidents in the Bull City last year and 89 percent of those incidents have gone unsolved, according to Durham Police.

According to data released Wednesday, of the 37 homicides in Durham in 2020, 33 percent of those cases have been solved.

Charlitta Burruss lives on South Elm Street just minutes from the Durham Police Department, yet she said there have been shootings near her neighborhood and 15-year-old Anthony Adams was shot and killed just down the road from her in November.

When CBS 17 told her only eleven percent of the shooting incidents in Durham last year had been solved, she said that this is heartbreaking to hear.

“That’s hurtful, that’s disgusting,” Burruss said. “You’ve got mothers that are crying. Back in the day, we were burying our parents. I have never seen so many parents burying their children, it’s supposed to be the other way around.”

According to the Durham Police Department’s 2019 Annual Report, their department cleared 68.4 percent of homicides in 2019 and 75 percent of homicides in 2018, which shows the homicide clearance rate is down this year compared to years past.

But Durham solved more homicides in 2018 and 2019 than the FBI’s clearance average of 55.5 percent for cities comparable to Durham with populations 250,000 – 499,000.

But when looking at the clearance rates for aggravated assaults, in 2019 Durham cleared 32.1 percent of aggravated assault cases and 41.4 percent of aggravated assault cases in 2018.

The FBI’s clearance rate average for 2019 was not available in the report, but it shows a 2018 average clearance rate of 41.5 percent for shooting incidents in comparable cities.

Durham Police were not available to talk on camera on Wednesday.

But during a press conference in November, Chief C.J. Davis talked about how drive-by shootings can be challenging to solve if there is no surveillance video or witnesses willing to come forward.

“By the time the department is called to the scene, the challenge is being able to get the information we need and the description of the vehicle as well,” Davis said.

Police and city officials also talked about the need for more people to come forward with information to help solve these crimes.

“Residents should know that just because time has passed, that doesn’t mean that police are not working on cases,” said Durham City Councilman Mark Anthony Middleton. “They are always open to fresh leads and fresh information if people come forward.”

Anyone with information on any of the shootings that have occurred in Durham are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. If you call CrimeStoppers, you can receive a cash reward and callers never have to identify themselves.

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