Four days after 24-year-old Raymond Floyd Peters was shot and killed in Dartmouth police have made no arrests.
But Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais says it’s still early in the investigation. He’s also heard rumours coming out of the North End community that many know the identity of the shooter but homicide investigators have yet to collect sufficient evidence to lay charges.
“There aren’t that many people that want to divulge that information,” Blais said about ID’ing who did it. “They don’t want to for various reasons and that makes it difficult, especially where criminals are involved. People know one another and they don’t want to cooperate.
“There’s still a lot of background to be done,” he added. “We have investigators in the snow using metal detectors, we’re trying to do a full profile on the victim and collect evidence at the scene. These things take time.”
Peters was shot and killed on a backyard property bordering Pinecrest Drive and Primrose Street on Monday evening.
Three other murders committed in the area in 2011- one on Pinecrest Drive and two more on neighboring Primrose Street – remain unsolved.
But Blais said those files remain open and investigators are still working to solve those cases.
“It’s not unusual for homicide case to take up to two, three, four years to solve,” he said. “Just because something is dated it doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything on it. We need absolute facts so we can obtain evidence to go to the next level.”
A December Statistics Canada report showed Halifax had the country’s second-worst per capita homicide rate of metropolitan areas last year.
But Blais said things are getting better, pointing to a drop in homicide rates: there were 12 homicides in Halifax last year compared to 18 in 2011.
“We’re trying to bring that number down,” said Blais. “I’d like it at zero but it will take time for that to happen.” — Metro Halifax