RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Nov. 29, 2017 at 3:30 a.m., a neighbor on Raven Road in Raleigh saw something outside her window.
She told 911 dispatchers, “I saw somebody running.”
Shortly after that call, Raleigh police arrived at the apartment complex.
“He was walking to his car. He was on his way back to his job. A job that was serving this country,” Sergeant Pennica with the Raleigh Police Department said.
Specialist Jose Juan Melendez Jr. was a U.S. Army paratrooper stationed on Fort Bragg.
“He was an outgoing person. He loved friends,” Sgt. Pennica said.
So much so that on a quick leave, Melendez made the 75-mile drive from Fort Bragg to Raleigh to go with friends to the Black Flower, a local bar, that is now closed.
Around 2:30 a.m., police said Melendez Jr. and his friends all left the bar to head back to a friend’s apartment. That was about a 25-minute car ride.
Police said Melendez went back inside that apartment but left approximately 15 minutes later.
Sgt. Pennica said, “He had his army bag with his army gear inside. A pair of boots, Army boots. And an energy drink.”
He was due back for duty on Fort Bragg at 6:00 a.m., but he never made it.
In a 911 call, a neighbor stated that they heard gunshots and saw someone on the ground. They also said they saw a figure with a hoodie on running away.
Police said Melendez Jr. was shot 5 times.
Officers searched surveillance cameras in the area but turned up nothing.
Police interviewed other neighbors but they said they did not see or hear anything.
The only lead police had was from the 911 caller.
CBS 17 asked Sgt. Pennica if there was any reason someone would kill him. He said no.
It has been nearly four years, and no one is talking about what happened.
“I’m convinced that somebody knows something. Somebody has bragged about it. Told somebody, given information but that person just hasn’t come forward and provided it to police,” Sgt. Pennica said.
There is a $20,000 reward for anyone with information. Anyone can call Crimestoppers and it is optional to give your name.