SANFORD: Police investigate third gun death in four days

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 08:38 PM

Local law enforcement officers are investigating the city’s third gun-related death since Sunday.

Thomas “Shaq” Rader, 20, of Sanford, was fatally shot in the 200 block of Harrington Street shortly before 5 a.m., according to Sanford Police Capt. Harold Layton. The victim was transported to UNC Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. The incident is being treated as a death investigation and “the department has not ruled out the incident as being an accidental shooting,” Layton said.

“There is no other information available at this time, as the case remains under investigation,” according to a Sanford Police Department release. Layton would not elaborate on the nature of the incident but said it was not related to two homicides on Sunday.

Stacey Lamont Morrison, 31, of Sanford, was fatally shot shortly before 3:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of Goldsboro Avenue, and Travis Richardson, 30, of Sanford, was fatally shot at 11:58 p.m. Sunday in the 2800 block of Eames Drive.

Police were roping off Harrington Street throughout the morning Wednesday, and were on the scene into the afternoon.

New Sanford Mayor Chet Mann said his prayers were with the affected families, and the city and the police department will be working to curb the violence.  

“It’s disturbing,” Mann said. “We are all concerned. We are trying to figure what we can do to assist these neighborhoods and our police.”

There were four homicides in 2012 compared to the five homicides that have occurred in 2013, according to Sanford City Manager Hal Hegwer.  The numbers usually range from two to six a year, he said.

“With the exception of one, these [murders] have been at a residence,” he said. “It is very difficult for police to have knowledge about what is happening inside of a [private] residence.”

The public can assist the police by being aware of their surroundings and alert law enforcement agencies about potential acts of violence, Hegwer said. During the holiday season, there are more gatherings of people, and residents need to remain vigilant, he said.

“We are being extremely aggressive about bringing justice for those victims,” Hegwer said. “We are working around the clock to work those cases and bring [about] a conclusion.”