The ambulance and police cars zoomed down Dunbar Street just after 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, July 16. They were responding to a cardiac arrest call, but when they arrived, they found a man dead of a gunshot wound near the intersection of Lincoln Street and Dunbaracross the street from Catherine Mangum’s house.
Mangum, an elderly woman and long-standing resident of the 600 block of Dunbar, heard the commotion outside and saw the body, face-forward on the ground. But it wasn’t until after midnight that she got the call from a relative: the dead body belonged to Pastor Jamie Daniels, of Divine Grace Worship Center. Her pastor.
“He sang at my husband’s funeral,” Mangum says. “He sang at my son-in-law’s funeral. He was as kind and good-hearted as a person can be. Who would do a thing like that to him?”
The Durham Police Department is investigating Daniels’s death as a homicide but has otherwise released no further information. Some people in the neighborhood reported hearing gunshots in the neighborhood late Friday night. One theory is that Daniels was shot nearby, sought help at Mangum’s house, and collapsed on the way. But it’s also unclear why Daniels, who didn’t live in the neighborhood, wound up there in the first place. Mangum isn’t sure.
“I don’t know how he got there, where he was shot, why he was shot, nothing,” she says.
As the INDY reported last week, the area where Daniels’s body was foundjust north of N.C. Central University campusis increasingly blighted and crime-ridden. Mangum remembers a time that wasn’t so.
“This has been a respectful neighborhood, with teachers and principals living on this street,” Mangum says. “We’re two blocks from [N.C.] Central. We’ve never had this type of thing before. Night before last [July 18], there was another shootinga twenty-one-year-old man, shot over on Linwood Street.
“All this killing in Durham,” she says, “it don’t make no sense.”