Mom seeks answers months after prison minister is slain in Durham

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A mother is pleading for help as months go by without getting answers about who killed her minister son.

Durham police say Wendell Zeigler, 43, was shot and killed in a Durham parking lot in September.

“Wendell was like my backbone. He was a family man, he was always there for all family members,” said his mother Beverly Spicer Coppin.

She said Zeigler was about to get his car cleaned when she thinks someone robbed him.

“He had a book bag and it was snatched from him, so it was a robbery and it went bad. It went bad,” said Coppin.

Durham fire officials said someone intentionally set the car wash on fire twice after the shooting.

No arrests have been made, but officials said they have identified a suspect for the arson cases.

It’s unclear if the fires are related to Ziegler’s murder.

Regardless, the scene is hard for his mother to visit.

“If it was me, Wendell would be here. So, I’m not giving up on my son,” said Coppin.

The father of two was a prison minister. He dedicated his life to religion and making the community better.

“He touched a lot of hearts in Durham,” said Coppin. “I cry every day because I miss my son, because my son was there. He was the child that called every morning, every night, [he’d say], ‘Goodnight mama, I love you’ and I’m not hearing that anymore from him.”

All that could help her grieving right now is an arrest and for others to learn from her tragedy.

“Stop the violence. Stop killing each other. It’s out of hand. It’s out of hand. You need to stop and put the guns down.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Crime Stoppers at  919-683-1200. Callers can remain anonymous.

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