Durham teen charged after woman shot in eye with pellet gun
Posted November 18, 2015
Updated November 20, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Police said Wednesday that they have charged a Durham teen after a woman was shot in the eye with a pellet gun.
Tyrease Anderson, 16, was charged with malicious maiming, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony conspiracy, injury to property, defrauding an innkeeper and misdemeanor conspiracy. He was being held in the Durham County jail under a $500,000 bond.
Police said Melissa Alvarez, 43, was applying for a job Tuesday afternoon when she learned that three teens had left an Applebee's restaurant without paying their bill. She spoke to the teens after the incident.
"I told them I can't believe what I just heard, that they did," said Alvarez.
Alvarez thought that would be the end of it, until the three teens started following her to the bus stop in the 3600 block of Witherspoon Boulevard.
"I kept on walking until I got to the bus stop and then they decided to come on fully to the bus stop," Alvarez said.
At that point, Alvarez said she continued to chastise the teens for leaving without paying for their meal.
"Telling them I didn't really think that was the right thing for them to do," said Alvarez.
Alvarez said that was when the teens got angry and threatened her. Next thing she knew, they were shooting at her with a pellet gun from behind some nearby bushes.
"When this one hit my eye, it was just as bad as it still is right now and [I was in] very, very much pain," said Alvarez. "I can't even open it at all. I can't 100 percent see out of it."
The three teens ran from the scene, but officers found one in a Home Depot, a second outside the store and the third teen behind a restaurant across Mount Moriah Road. The pellet gun was recovered.
Anderson is a student at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, Durham Public Schools officials said. The other two suspects, who are both 14, are facing charges of injury to property and defrauding an innkeeper.
Alvarez underwent emergency surgery Tuesday night, and said that she is grateful that she didn't lose her eye.
"I was really, really blessed. The Lord was right there with me, when I needed Him and I was happy," she said.
Alvarez's eye doctor told her that she will regain some use of her right eye, but it will take time. She is scheduled to have another surgery within a month.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Investigator D. Smith at 919-560-4583, extension 29366, or Investigator K. Owens at 919-560-4583, extension 29365.