DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Homicides are up in Durham this year and a recent crime report shows that more than 90 percent of the murders in the city in the first quarter of 2022 have not been solved.
Data from Durham Police’s 2022 first-quarter crime report shows that only 9 percent of the 11 homicides from January 1 to March 31 have been cleared.
The data indicate that Durham is behind their 2021 rate where police cleared 48 percent of homicide cases in total that year.
The report also shows Durham lags behind the FBI’s clearance rate which shows cities comparable to the size of Durham solved 49 percent of homicides in 2020.
Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews will be presenting the department’s first-quarter crime report to Durham City Council during Thursday’s work session.
Homicides in Durham are up this year as data shows that 17 people have been shot and killed through May 7 of 2022. That’s up from 14 people shot and killed at this time in 2021 and it is more than double the eight killed at this time in 2020.
Some of the homicides include great grandmother, Delores Burwell, who police say was shot and killed from celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Day.
“I’m sure these families would like to see some kind of justice for their children,” said Sheryl Smith, a Durham community activist. “I’m not saying they’re not doing their job, but that’s very low.”
Dozens of other families in Durham who have lost loved ones to gun violence before 2022 are still waiting on their cases to be solved as well.
Carlas Orr’s 27-year-old son, Marquis Orr, was shot and killed at Millennium Hotel in west Durham in 2010. She said she is still waiting for Durham police to solve her son’s case.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him, but you learn to get through the day,” Orr said. “If you’ve never had those shoes on, you don’t know what it’s like to get up every day and force yourself to go with one of your children gone. We’re not meant to do this.”
The crime report also shows that Durham Police has solved 43.4 percent of aggravated assaults so far this year, which is up from 2021 when they had solved 37.7 percent of aggravated assaults.
Durham has also surpassed the FBI’s clearance rate for aggravated assaults where comparable cities nationwide solved 36.6 percent of aggravated assaults in 2020.
While Smith said it’s good to see the rate for solving aggravated assaults is up, she said it is still concerning to see only 9 percent of homicide cases have been solved.
“I would like to know what are the priorities? I mean these murder cases should be first priority and I would like to know why they haven’t been solved,” Smith said.
CBS 17 reached out to the Durham Police Department for a comment on the solve rates for homicides and aggravated assaults.
A spokesperson with the Durham Police Department said Andrews will present the report to the Durham City Council at the work session on Thursday at 1 p.m.