DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – Homicides in Durham have surged this year, and a recent crime report shows more than 90 percent of the city’s homicides in the first quarter of 2022 went unsolved.
Data from the Durham Police Department’s Criminal Report for the first quarter of 2022 shows only 9 percent of the 11 murders from January 1 to March 31 were solved.
The data shows Durham is falling short of its 2021 rate, where police cleared a total of 48 percent of homicides that year.
The report also shows that Durham is falling short of the FBI’s solve rate, which shows cities comparable in size to Durham solved 49 percent of homicides in 2020.
Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews will present the department’s first quarter crime report to Durham City Council during Thursday’s working session.
The number of homicides in Durham has risen this year as data shows 17 people have been shot and killed as of May 7, 2022. That’s more than 14 people shot and killed at this point in 2021, and it’s more than double the eight killed at this point in 2020.
Some of the murders include great-grandmother Delores Burwell, who was shot dead by celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Day, police say.
Other fatal shootings that year included a home invasion, a traffic shooting, fatal shootings at gas stations and on the street.
“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 lost loved ones to gun violence before 2022 are still waiting for their cases to be resolved as well.
Carlas Orr’s 27-year-old son, Marquis Orr, was shot dead at the Millennium Hotel in West Durham in 2010. She said she is still waiting for Durham Police to solve her son’s case.
“Not a day 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 walk when one of your kids is away. We’re not meant to be.”
The crime report also shows that Durham Police have solved 43.4 percent of serious assaults so far this year, up from 2021 when they had solved 37.7 percent of serious assaults.
Durham also surpassed the FBI’s aggravated assault clearance rate, where comparable cities statewide solved 36.6 percent of aggravated assaults in 2020.
While Smith said it’s good to see the rate for serious assault solves increasing, she said it’s still worrying that only 9 percent of homicides have been solved.
“I would like to know what the priorities are? I mean, these murders should be a top priority and I’d like to know why they haven’t been solved,” Smith said.
CBS 17 reached out to the Durham Police Department for comment on homicide and aggravated assault clearance rates.
A Durham Police Department spokesman said Andrews would present the report to Durham City Council at Thursday’s 1pm working session
https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/durham-county-news/91-of-durham-homicides-in-1st-quarter-of-2022-unsolved-crime-report-shows/ 91% of Murders in Durham in Q1 2022 unsolved, Criminal Report reveals