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Friends: Fayetteville woman shot by son is 'warm person'

Posted January 15

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— The D’Ambience Salon and Spa was closed Friday and the front door was draped with a black cloth after a woman was shot, allegedly by her son, at the shop Thursday afternoon.

Police said 24-year-old Kevin Powell entered the salon, at 1111 Ireland Drive, just before 2 p.m. and shot his mother, 44-year-old Derema Burch, in the face. Burch, who was affectionately known to many as Ms. Dee, is the owner of D’Ambience.

In a 911 call made by Burch, she tells the operator that she was shot by her son. In the background, other salon employees can be heard entering the room and trying to administer first aid. According to someone in the background of the call, Burch was shot in the mouth.

In another call, a customer who was in the restroom when shots rang out described the incident.

"When I came out of the bathroom she was on the floor. Her son was here. He was saying 'I shot my momma. Somebody shot my momma'," she said to the dispatcher. "I ran out in the parking lot because all I know is that when I went into the bathroom, he was the only one in there."

Powell was an outstanding basketball player at Seventy-First High School in 2009. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Police said that after shooting his mother, Powell left the salon, went to his car, and put the gun inside.

Powell made his first court appearance Friday afternoon at the Cumberland County Detention Center, where he asked for a court appointed attorney. If convicted on the charges, District Court Judge April Smith said he could face up to 484 months in jail.

Burch's daughter said her mother came out of surgery Thursday night and was recovering at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. The hospital confirmed that Burch was in serious condition Friday afternoon.

On Friday, people who work at the strip mall on Ireland Drive were trying to continue business as usual, but some said it has been difficult.

Mike Moore delivers the mail in the area and said he has spoken with Burch in her salon on several occasions.

“She’s very nice, a warm person. It just broke my heart to see that because I couldn’t believe that her son did something like that. It just hurt me,” he said.

Powell's next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 3.

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  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Jan 15, 2016
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    I can't think of a more heartbreaking tragedy for this poor woman. I hope both her physical and emotional scars heal. Can't imagine how any child could do this to his own mother; horrible.