Durham police connecting pieces from 2 downtown shooting scenes

— Durham police are putting together pieces after shots rang out Tuesday morning in two locations.

“Though no one was injured in this senseless act of violence, we are angered and concerned about these bold and egregious acts in our city,” Chief of Police C.J. Davis said in a statement. A spokeswoman said Davis was unavailable to speak to the media about the incidents.

Attorney Kenneth Duke was working inside the courthouse and came out to find his vehicle, parked on Pettigrew Street, riddled with bullet holes.

“When I got up to it, the officer came up to me and told me that my car had been caught in the crossfire of some people that were having a shootout,” Duke said.

He was not hurt, and he did not witness the gunfire.

“When I walked up after court, I saw these police officers around it, and I thought maybe I’m having a parking ticket,” he said.

Brian Simorka, who works for the Durham Bulls, was decorating a Christmas tree with co-workers when he heard a blast of shots exchanged.

“Maybe 12 or 15 shots in quick back-and-forth, just over our shoulders here past DPAC,” he said.

Around the time that the shooting happened, surveillance cameras from American Tobacco captured three men walking toward a silver car and getting into it. Seconds later, that same video shows a dark vehicle speed down Pettigrew Street and pause right in the area where Duke‘s SUV was hit with gun fire.

Another camera, this one on Blackwell Street, shows a similar dark vehicle heading down the street, then a silver vehicle racing behind it.

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Another vehicle, stopped at the light at the corner of Duke and Chapel Hill streets, was also hit by gunfire, police said. That driver was not hurt, but bullet holes were visible in her vehicle.

In the parking lot of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, police found an abandoned vehicle that had previously been reported stolen and linked it to the gunfire.

Preschool students were on the playground there when shots rang out, Pastor Heather Rodrigues said.

“The shots were coming from the front of our building. The children were in the back of the building,” Rodrigues said.

“Once they were inside, we noticed that one of the cars involved in the shooting had pulled into our parking lot.”

She said people at the church saw the occupants get out of the stolen vehicle and into another car and drive off.

In her statement, Davis said the shooting stemmed from “a dispute between two groups of individuals” who were leaving a court hearing.

Police linked the stolen car to the shootings. It‘s owner, Kyle Durkin, says thieves broke into his apartment a few weeks ago and stole a safe with thousands of dollars – intended for his cancer treatment – along with guns and his car keys. He says they came back later for the car itself.

“I’m going to end up dead, because they’re just going to keep coming back for everything I’ve got,” he said.

Police are asking that anyone with information Investigator A. Junker at or Crime Stoppers at.Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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