The Raleigh Police Department is looking for information that will lead to identifying who killed Army Spc. Jose Juan Melendez.
The 31-year-old was killed in the 2200 block of Raven Road in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday at roughly 3:20 a.m., according to police. That address is located in an apartment complex on Raleigh’s north side.
Melendez was walking to his vehicle at the time of the shooting, police said.
The gunfire was reported to a police dispatcher by a woman living near the scene, according to an audio of the call provided to Military Times.
“I saw somebody running,” the woman on the phone said. “Shots were fired. He was running towards the woods.”
The woman identified the runner as a male. After the shooting, Melendez was taken to WakeMed hospital, where he died from his wounds, police said.
Melendez served as a nodal network systems operator for the 528th Sustainment Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was on leave at the time of the shooting. He was scheduled to return to duty later that morning.
”These last few days have been hard for myself, my family and all those who knew him. There’s absolutely nothing negative you can say about him. He touched many lives,” Melendez’s sister, Mara Baker, told the Military Times.
“We want to thank everyone who has shared his story all over social media, and I ask people to continue to do so. We want to find justice for Jose,” she said.
Melendez enlisted in the Army in 2013 and attended basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was previously a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and had deployed for nine months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“We’re devastated by this loss to our team, and our thoughts, prayers, and support are turned now to his family,” said Lt. Col. Shaw Pick, the 112th Signal Battalion commander. “We will never forget Jose. He was a warrior and a cherished friend.”
Melendez’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
The Army confirmed that Melendez’s death is under investigation by city police, and said all questions regarding the incident should be referred to the Raleigh Police Department Public Information Office.
Anyone who believes they may have information about the incident is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP or visit RaleighCrimeStoppers.org for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.