Shocking news from WRAL late in the evening on Saturday: Ronnie Sturdivant, owner of the Corcoran St. parking garage/former Jack Tar Motel and the W. Chapel Hill St. hotel that's become the Urban Merchant Center, was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon.
Barry Wayne Kaalund is charged with murder in the death of Ronnie Sturdivant, owner of Urban Merchants, located at 605 West Chapel Hill St.
Officers responding to a gunshot call at the store just before 4:30
a.m.p.m. Saturday found Sturdivant shot several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.
Sturdivant was in the news just two weeks ago following the latest move by City officials to attempt to force the property owner to clean up the W. Chapel Hill St. facility.
My thoughts, and I hope those of all BCR readers, are with Sturdivant's wife and family at this very difficult time.
Update: I've updated the post to correct that this happened around 4:30 pm, not am. Thanks to a reader for catching that.
Kaalund, from what little research I've been able to do, Mr. Kaalund appears to be a long-standing member of the Durham community; formerly a homeowner off Kent St.; a UNC grad; quoted in local news articles at the opening of a cultural center in the Triangle a few years back. And the comments of Pat Murray (the publisher of the terrific Durham Skywriter newspaper) suggest there is much more to learn about this story.
Kaalund is being held without bond in the Durham County jail.
Update: Two videos featuring Sturdivant and his Campaign for Wealth marketing program; the first shows the property owner apparently standing on the roof of the Urban Merchant Center. The second is a founder's message from Sturdivant on the program: