Local News

Durham officer: Being shot is part of job

Posted October 27, 2009
Updated October 29, 2009

— A Durham police officer says he is eager to get back to active duty after being seriously wounded by gunfire this summer.

"For me, it's just part of the job. It's something that could happen," said Damon Youmans, who on July 2 was responding to a call about a break-in at South Square Townhomes when was shot in the abdomen beneath his bulletproof vest.

Wounded officer eager to get back to work Wounded officer eager to get back to work

"You recover," the 32-year-old added. "You stay focused mentally, and you get back on your horse, and you continue riding."

Youmans returned to work last week at the Durham Police Department and is on administrative duty while he continues to undergo physical therapy.

Doctors at Duke University Hospital used 60 units of blood during emergency surgery. More than 70 people donated blood, including police officers, sheriff's deputies and emergency communications workers.

Emergency Chaplains, which ministers to first responders, raised more than $3,800 to help pay for Youmans' medical bills.

"I think the support is part of the reason I am up and about and recovering so well and so quickly – because of all the prayers from the citizens and the community," Youmans said.

Youmans joined the Durham police force in early June after working with the New York Police Department for two years.

Police charged Thomas Rashawn Monroe, 23, with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

Chief Jose Lopez said Youmans was with a training officer at the time of the shooting and that both officers followed protocol. Neither fired a shot, he said.


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  • mramorak Oct 28, 2009

    i wish i were 1/2 the man that he is.

  • Thought Criminal WS Oct 28, 2009

    "Chief Jose Lopez said Youmans was with a training officer at the time of the shooting and that both officers followed protocol Neither fired a shot, he said."

    I'm pretty sure you don't capitalize the word Neither in the middle of the sentence. Also, Lopez already "said" at the beginning of the sentence so probably need check the grammar on using "he said" at the end of the sentence.

    I have to ask why the man who shot him is not facing attempted murder of a government official.

  • cattailcabin Oct 28, 2009

    "This guy has got it ALL wrong! Getting shot is NOT a part of the job. Shooting unarmed drunk college kids is...send him back to the academy so he can be further brain wa...err Trained!" SME2

    I don't know what happened to you to hate LEO's so much, but that statement was one of the saddest posts I have ever read. It breaks my heart that the general public does not understand what our great officers are faced with. Just like in any profession, there are bad apples. But please, don't put EVERY officer in that category. This story is about one of our finest and he needs to know that we care and are pulling for him!

  • concerncitizen Oct 28, 2009

    Officer Damon Youmans, I too would like to thank you for your service to the city of Durham, North Carolina, and these USA! THANK YOU! God Bless you and your family! We are so glad you are doing better! While I don't spend a lot of time in Durham, I would consider it an honor to have the chance to thank you personal some day!

  • 5-113 FA Retired Oct 28, 2009

    Uh, I don't believe the terms and conditions of Durham's general liability or worker's compensation insurance carrier factors ""being shot" into the premiums. While being shot is most certainly a potential workplace hazard, I would doubt if it's part of his job description.

  • makeitright Oct 28, 2009

    Glad he is OK. SO
    Police charged Thomas Rashawn Monroe, 23, with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm. Hello? Attempted Murder? or did he accidently just happen to hit the COP in the stomach?

  • purplepat777 Oct 28, 2009

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that his medical bills wouldn't be covered 100% by the city of Durham, but I am. I also find it sad that he served as a police offier in New York, where presumably he didn't get shot, and then gets shot after less than a month in Durham.

    Mr. Youmans, I'm so glad you're doing better. I thank you and all your fellow officers for everything you do, every day.

  • NCAries Oct 28, 2009


    I had the same question...why did they have to collect money to pay his medical bills?

  • EZeegoing Oct 28, 2009

    I am so glad the officer is recovering nicely and praise him for returning to duty; however, I wonder about the city of Durham medical coverage for an officer wounded in the line of duty. Why shouldn't his medical bills be covered 100% ? I find it hard to swallow that a man risks his life for the city and still has expenses not covered by city insurance. Anybody know how this works ?

  • mrduright Oct 28, 2009

    Now if I had said being shot is part of the job. I would have been jumped all over.