Police seek clues in Sunday murder
By Sarah Willets
LUMBERTON — Lumberton police say there are no known witnesses in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man on Sunday night.
According to a statement from Capt. Terry Parker, Deonte Bethea, who lived on Parrish Street, was found dead by officers inside an apartment on Lee Circle at about 9:30 p.m. It’s unclear how many times Bethea was shot as police were awaiting the results of an autopsy on Monday.
The shooting occurred inside the Lumbee Homes public housing complex, off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Councilman John Cantey, who represents Precinct 5, where the complex is located, said security is an ongoing problem.
“I guarantee you — if the property managers do some unannounced inspections, they will find all types of wanted people with warrants on them,” Cantey said in an email to The Robesonian.
Cantey said despite recent security upgrades by the Lumberton Housing Authority, there are many “unauthorized guests” and some elderly residents are afraid to leave their homes.
Typically, the Lumberton Police Department provides two drug enforcement officers to patrol housing complexes as a part of the Lumberton Housing Authority’s Drug Elimination Program. Recently, funding for the program, which is provided by United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been cut in half.
As a result, the city is now looking to provide just one officer to patrol the area for 42 hours each week through its next contract, which would take effect in March.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Brian Hodge at 910-671-3845 or Crime Stoppers at 910-738-1133.
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