Durham community wants action from city after man killed, many injured in rash of shootings

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Durham community was rattled by multiple shootings in the last couple of days in which almost a dozen people were injured and one person died.

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Durham police said two people were shot in a parking lot in the 1600 block of Hillsborough Road in Durham. Otha “Ray” Watson, 26, was attending a car meet in a parking lot in the area when he was shot, his family said.

Watson was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Another female victim was also shot but is expected to be OK.

Watson’s mom, Ronda Watson Cameron, remembers her son as a loving father who enjoyed cooking crab legs and attending car meets in Durham.

“My son was a loving individual. He loved his kids and he loved to work,” Cameron said.

Cameron said her family just wants answers as to what exactly happened the day her son died.

“I just got a call and I was just told my son was shot,” Cameron said. “I don’t know anything under the circumstances about when and how. I just know we have got to get some type of control over these guns.”

That same day, a man was walking in the 900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Durham when he was shot. He is expected to be OK.

On Monday night, there were four shootings in four hours. Authorities said the first shooting was reported at 5:04 pm when a 15-year-old boy was dropped off at a local hospital after he had been shot. He said he was walking at an unknown location when he was shot in the leg, but he is expected to be OK.

The second shooting happened a short time later. A 17-year-old boy told police he was walking on Delano Street when shots were fired from a white car. He was shot in the thigh and is expected to be OK.

The third shooting occurred around 6 p.m. in the 1000 block of Fairview Street. Police said three men were shot by the occupants of a gray SUV. One of the men was shot multiple times in the head, but the other two men suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Richard Benson lives down the road from the shooting on Fairview Street and he heard at least eight gun shots.

“I started to hear kind of screaming and crying,” Benson said.

He went down the street to see what he could do help. He saw two people had been shot and one was critically injured.

“Someone had mentioned they had called 911 and they told me there was going to be a 20- to 30-minute delay,” Benson said.

Benson then decided to load up the victims in his car and take them to the hospital.

On the way, they saw a third victim walking who had been shot, so Benson took the third victim, as well.

“I felt like, at that time, God was kind of working through me to put me in that position to be able to help,” Benson said.

A fourth shooting happened at 8:51 p.m. when a man and a woman flagged down police and said they had been shot in the 1100 bock of Delano Street. A third male victim in this shooting walked into WakeMed Brier Creek with a gunshot wound. All three are expected to be Ok.

Tuesday, Ray Watson’s mother said she wants something to be done to address the problem with gun violence in the city.

“I can no longer hug my son. Now the only way I can talk to him is in this box here,” Watson said. “We have to work together with the community and get together with the police and try to stop this violence.”

Durham City Councilman Mark Anthony Middleton said he is pushing the city council to see what can be done in the short term to fix this problem.

Durham police said they have a task force focusing specifically on shooting cases and they are working closely with the gang unit in hopes of identifying these suspects.

If you have any information about the recent shootings, call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

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