Local News

Owner of Durham convenience store fatally shot during robbery

Posted February 14

— The owner of a Durham convenience store died Tuesday morning after being shot during a robbery, according to the Durham Police Department.

The shooting happened around 7:15 a.m. at the Family Fare at 2918 Guess Road, according to Durham police. The victim, identified at 41-year-old John Wesley Pruitt Jr., was taken to Duke University Hospital where he died a short time later.

A second person with a gunshot wound was also taken to the hospital.

Doug Harold, a frequent customer who knew Pruitt, said he was a wonderful man.

"He's a big old bear of a man," Harold said. "But when one of his friends has a problem, tears come to his eyes."

"And now someone has to tell his daughter—has to tell his wife," Harold said. "How heartbreaking."

A spokesperson for Family Fare stores said Pruitt owned the store and had been with the company for about 10 years. The spokesperson said Pruitt leaves behind a wife and child.

Customer Joy Wendt, called the shooting a "tragedy for the community."

"It's terrifying. It really is terrifying. It makes you wonder what someone is thinking," Wendt said.

"(Pruitt) was wonderful. The whole family really cares about the community," Wendt said. "This is just heartbreaking, especially on Valentine's Day. I just pray for the family."

Police said the shooting stemmed from an attempted robbery.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call Investigator M. Evans at 919-560-4440 ext. 29336 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • Janet Ghumri Feb 14, 2017
    user avatar

    A few years ago we lost a dear friend in a convenience store robbery like this, early in the morning. The police picked up the wife and questioned her for hours. It was very traumatic. Their 2 little boys were separated from the mom, while she received the worst news of her life. I'm hoping that isn't the case here. Prayers for the family. God bless

  • Gsp Winner Feb 14, 2017
    user avatar

    I invite everyone to come to First Pentecostal Church on Carver Street right around the corner to help pray for the family.

  • Crystal Czeck Feb 14, 2017
    user avatar

    So glad I moved away from that city. My uncle used to patrol Durham. He said you may as well put a bulls eye on your car. I hate this for that family. I hope they catch the scum that did this.

  • Jim Dunn Feb 14, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Sad but so true. And our governor is more concerned about what bathroom a person gets to use. But then again, the victims of violent crime don't contribute to political campaigns. They're focused on just surviving.

  • Mark Hayes Feb 14, 2017
    user avatar

    No description, no store camera ?