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Duke clinic gunman shot self, autopsy shows

Posted July 12, 2010

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— A man whom police say shot and killed a Duke University Health System employee two months ago killed himself, an autopsy report released Monday shows.

Burnette Taylor, 51, suffered from a lethal contact gunshot wound of the right side of the head, according to the report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill. He also suffered a second gunshot wound to the back of his left hip.

Durham police say Taylor entered the North Duke Street Clinic on May 4 and shot his ex-girlfriend, Charlene King. Police found Taylor hiding nearby and exchanged gunfire with him.

Initial reports indicated that police had shot and killed Taylor.

His autopsy report, however, indicates that, although police did fire shots, the gunshot wound to the head was self-inflicted and that Taylor had also been holding a gun to his head when police confronted him.

King, 49, was shot six times in the chest, stomach, back and buttocks, according to an autopsy report.

Family members said King, a phlebotomist at the clinic, had ended a year-long relationship before the attack.


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  • Ol Forrester Jul 13, 2010

    Too bad he didn't shoot himself first.

  • anneonymousone Jul 12, 2010

    May this knowledge help the police officers sleep better. (Not that I would fault responding LEOs if, in a situation like this, they had to stop a shooter by shooting him or her; I just think that even in situations where it's justifiable, it must be a heavy load to carry.)

    My best thoughts continue to be with Ms. King, the responding police, and anyone else who witnessed this event.

  • JMackneil Jul 12, 2010

    good ridiance dirtbag