‘I thought I was going to die’: 11-year-old boy among 30+ shot in Durham so far this year

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – An 11-year-old boy who lives on Thornwood Drive in east Durham said he is afraid every Thursday night before he goes to bed because it was on a Thursday when a stray bullet flew into his room and struck him in the back.

It happened about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 22. The stray bullet flew through the wall, over his 5-year-old brother’s bed, and struck the 11-year-old in the back.

“I was asleep when I got shot. I don’t remember getting shot,” he said.

The boy’s mother ran into her sons’ room to check on them after waking up.

Thankfully, the 5-year-old was not hit, but her 11-year-old son had a bullet lodged in his back.

“I just remember waking up to gunshots and both my sons screaming,” she said.

When she got in their room, she saw the bullet hole in the wall.

“My oldest child was laying in the bed just rolling back-and-forth. He was actually still asleep, not realizing that he had actually gotten shot,” she said.

The 11-year-old boy said he does remember when the paramedics got there and feeling very scared.

“I thought I was going to die,” he said.

He said he is still terrified and doesn’t like to sleep alone in his room on Thursday nights.

“I’m scared it’s going to happen again,” he said. “I usually cry or go sleep with my mom.”

Police said what led to the shooting is still under investigation. CBS 17 looked back at all of the shootings confirmed by Durham police so far in 2021. There have been more than 100 shooting incidents and more than 30 people have been shot.

From Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening, five people were shot and there were four different shooting incidents within that 24-hour time span.

Two of those shooting incidents occurred on the roadway and multiple vehicles were struck by gunfire.

CBS 17 reached out to Durham City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton to find out what the city is doing about the recent gunfire.

“We have a persistent issue of gun violence,” Middleton said.

Middleton said council is expected to get a report in the next few weeks or months on a proposal for the city to implement ShotSpotter, a gun detection technology geared toward creating faster police response times to shooting incidents.

In addition, he said the city and county are in the process of hiring more violence interrupters and outreach workers for the Bull City United violence interrupter program.

Violence interrupters are mediators who work to prevent violence in areas hit hard by gunfire.

“My hope is by late spring or early summer, we should see more folks active in our community,” Middleton said.

CBS 17 asked what is happening right now to prevent future shootings since people are getting shot multiple times a week.

“What normally happens,” Middleton said. “Police respond, they investigate, they talk to witnesses, and they make arrests. What I’m concerned about are the people who aren’t saying anything.”

CBS 17 reached out to Durham police to find out what’s led to the recent rash of shootings this week and if any of them might be related, but no one was available for an interview on Wednesday.

In the past, officials with Durham police have said that they have dedicated certain investigators to focus primarily on the recent shootings and they encourage people to come forward if they have information.

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at 919-683-1200. Crimestoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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