DURHAM, N.C. – Investigators believe four men found shot to death in an upscale rented town house were targeted and not victims of a random crime, the police chief said Monday.
Police were searching for three suspects spotted leaving the scene Saturday before the four men were discovered by officers responding to a call about gunshots at the house.
"These individuals did not come into that community for any other reason than to rob and murder the individuals that they came in contact with," Police Chief Steve Chalmers said. "It wasn't a random crime."
The dead were identified as Lajuan Coleman, 27; Lennis Harris Jr., 24; Jonathan Skinner, 26; and Jamal Halloway, 27, police said. Two other men at the town house were wounded. Police would not release their names.
Neighbors said the victims appeared to be young professionals or college students, and Durham Mayor Bill Bell said investigators suspect the killings were drug-related.
One of the injured men, who was found outside the town house, was in serious condition at Duke University Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the face. The other man was treated and released, said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.
Residents said most of the homes on the street are owner-occupied, but the town house residents were believed to have rented the unit. Neighbors said the property owner, who had moved to Florida, told them she performed criminal background checks on perspective tenants before leasing the property.