74-year-old woman killed by July 4th ‘celebratory gunfire,’ Durham police say

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Authorities say 74-year-old Paulette Thorpe died after she was struck by celebratory gunfire at a July 4th celebration Saturday night.

Officers responded to a reported gunshot wound the 500 block of Burlington Avenue around 11 p.m. and located the victim.

Thorpe was transported to the hospital where she died a short time later.

Authorities say the shooting was a result of celebratory gunfire and remains under investigation.

“Last night as people throughout Durham peacefully celebrated the July 4th holiday with their friends and family, a small few chose to put our community at risk by carelessly firing guns into the air.  This reckless behavior led to the tragic death of Ms. Paulette Thorpe.  Ms. Thorpe’s death reminds us that we as a community must work together to prevent these senseless acts, so that no family suffers such a tragedy ever again, said Durham Police Chief Cerelyn Davis” 

Anyone with information regarding this shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

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