DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been more than three weeks since two teenagers were killed and four other youths were shot while riding in a stolen SUV in Durham last month, and there are still no arrests or new information from Durham police.
According to authorities, seven young people were riding in the stolen SUV around 3 a.m. when someone opened fire at their vehicle, which caused their car to hit a pole on Mathison Street.
Isijah Carrington, 19, and Ariuna Cotton, 15, were shot and killed and four other youths between the ages of 17 and 12 were also shot, but they survived.
A 15-year-old boy was also in the SUV, but he was not hurt.
On Tuesday, the Durham Emergency Communications Center released more than a dozen 911 calls from the shooting that reveal new information about what callers saw and heard the morning of the shooting.
The first call came into police at 3:03 a.m.
One caller told the operator, “there has been a shooting. I need 911, one person was killed, can you please send someone?”
The caller went on to say, “the person is on the ground, the car looks like it hit a light pole. There are three or four people who are right on the street there. We need an ambulance.”
Many of the 911 calls were people who reported hearing the gunfire.
“It was boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom…like that,” one caller told the 911 operator.
Other callers reported hearing different amounts of gunfire.
“I just heard about 20 gunshots,” one caller said.
Another caller said they heard “about 50 gunshots” on Lakeland Street near the shooting.
Some people had a hard time getting ahold of 911, according to the calls that were released.
One caller voiced frustration to a 911 call taker saying, “Is there a reason no one answered this 911 call? This is my third time calling.”
Another call to 911 during the time of the shooting was also unanswered, but Durham 911 operators called that person back.
The revelations come as 28 of the 60 call-taker positions at the Durham Emergency Communication Center are vacant.
As CBS 17 has previously reported, the city has been working to fill these vacancies for a year now, but a 911 operator has told CBS 17 that training struggles and burnout among workers make it hard to build up staffing.
Meanwhile, preliminary data from Durham police shows that there were 795 shooting incidents for 2021. This means there are more than two shooting incidents per day that happen in Durham.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do this year,” said Durham’s Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton.
Middleton said that the city is working to fill the vacant 911 operator positions with the help of a new 911 academy that will be starting at Durham Tech this spring.
When it comes to addressing gun violence, Middleton said the city will be focusing on funding more programs for youth in the city.
“We’re hoping to make a life of violent crime far less likely a choice, particularly for our young people,” Middleton said.
CBS 17 reached out to the city of Durham about the report of 911 calls that at first weren’t answered amid the deadly shooting. But we have still not heard back.
If you have any information about the Mathison Street shooting, call Investigator Crumbley at 919-560-4440 ext. 29163 or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.