DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Two ninth-graders were found dead in Durham on Wednesday morning near the intersection of Hudson Avenue and North Buchanan Boulevard.
This investigation began shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday when officers responded to the 1200 block of Leon Street where it was reported that a juvenile male had been shot, Durham police said.
The victim’s parents transported him to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said that the victim told them there may have been two additional victims who had been shot. The 16-year-old juvenile male is in stable condition, according to police.
Overnight, the Durham Fire Department deployed a drone for several hours and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office sent out their cadaver dog to search the area for additional victims.
As the investigation continued, two 16-year-old boys were found dead shortly after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, police said. Emergency Medical Services responded and pronounced both juvenile victims deceased on the scene.
On Wednesday afternoon, Durham Public Schools told CBS 17 the identities of both. They were Angel Caneles Quintana, who attended Riverside High School, and Osmar Burgos Banegas, who attended Lakeview School.
The school system sent the following message out to its employees:
While we are limited in the information that we can share due to privacy laws protecting students and their families, as well as due to an active police investigation, we are saddened to share that two Riverside students and one Lakeview student were the victims of gun violence last night in an off-campus incident.
Durham Public Schools counselors and support staff are available at Riverside and Lakeview to provide additional care for students and staff who have learned about this tragedy. We are committed to our schools being safe and secure places where Durham’s children and youth learn, grow, and receive social-emotional support in the face of adversity.
We call on our community, once again, to stand against gun violence. We must counter the easy availability of weapons and provide opportunities and social support networks for our youth, so that violence is unthinkable and hope is universal. We call on the people of Durham County to join our students in this cause.
Based on police’s preliminary investigation, the shooting does not appear to be random.
“People shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not these 16-year-olds don’t come to the house,” said Robert McIntyre, who lives nearby. “It’s just getting to the point where it’s like, guys, what if that’s your kid? What if that’s your brother, your sister, your niece, your nephew?”
Durham police told CBS 17t his incident marks the 13th homicide in the city so far this year, with the youngest victims just today.
Investigators also added that 13 juveniles have been shot in the city in 2023.
The family of Caneles told CBS17the three teens were all friends.
Local advocates said something needs to change to hopefully save kids’ lives.
“[City leaders should] focus on bringing equality to the children more than building bringing buildings downtown,” said Pastor Antonio Wood Sr., a local community advocate. “They need to bring more infrastructure to the communities like this here and other ones to give young people things to do.”
Brogden Middle School was placed on secure status for a short period Wednesday morning while police were in the area investigating. The school is no longer on secure status.
As of 4:16 p.m., Durham police also directly told CBS 17 that “the chief will not be available to speak on camera about the investigations.”
They did not give a reason why.
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J.D. Harris at (919) 560-4440 ext. 29120 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
Kayla Morton contributed to this article.