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Masked 16-year-old shot, killed after breaking into Durham apartment

Posted September 12
Updated September 13

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— A 16-year-old died early Monday morning and an apartment resident was injured after a shooting at a Durham apartment complex.

Around 12:45 a.m., officials responded to a shooting at Auburn Apartments located at 801 East Woodcroft Parkway.

Authorities found the body of Jalen Thompson Johnson at the scene. Officials say Johnson, who was a sophomore at Hillside High School, was shot and killed when he attempted to break inside an occupied apartment while wearing a mask.

The man who lived in the apartment, in a call to 911, said, “I shot the suspect when he tried to enter my house.”

As the dispatcher questioned him about the details, the resident said he had been shot in the leg and needed to put pressure on his wound. He was taken to a local hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery.

Residents at the complex woke up Monday morning in disbelief. "This is a quiet neighborhood," one resident said.

Investigators with the Durham Police Department were on the scene for more than seven hours. The investigation is ongoing, officials say, and no charges have been filed.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Investigator J. Barr at 919-560-4440 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • Danny McFarland Sep 12, 5:10 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    If you google the name you can see a picture. WRAL tends to not mention race but other stations do.

  • Roger Chance Sep 12, 4:36 p.m.
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    ...and another one... and another one...another one bites the dust....
    Outpouring of protests..of course not. Doesn't happen as long as no caucasion is involved.

  • Michael Sullivan Sep 12, 3:48 p.m.
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    For those who think that this was just a random homeowner defending his castle, just wait. There is so much more to this story I will just bet. Of course in a rush to infotain the story is incomplete at best.

  • Jim Williams Sep 12, 3:07 p.m.
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    We live in a society where crime is glorified. A very stupid child believes what he sees on TV and the movies, he takes an adult action and pays permanent consequences. Everybody loses. I am glad the homeowner was able to defend himself, and wish him a swift recovery.

  • Jeff Freuler Sep 12, 3:03 p.m.
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    Glad the tenant was armed and ready to do the need when they needed to.
    Play stupid games and you will win a stupid prize

  • Kristen Ford-Newell Sep 12, 2:41 p.m.
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    When free stuff just isn't enough?..I hope his mother (parents?), can be proud they way they raised him. They know the consequences before they do the crime but do not care...oh well...nothing more anyone can say now.

  • Norman Lewis Sep 12, 2:26 p.m.
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    To be sure something like this can't happen in Durham! Not with the gun control measures in place. (sarcasm). Let me count the felonies, possession of a firearm by a minor and likely already a felon as well, armed robbery at least would have been the charge. What if the young robber had gotten in the apartment unopposed, would I be adding murder to the list? Young life cut short, almost certainly gang related, maybe an initiation of sorts. Race is irrelevant here, this is between an armed robber and unfortunately for him, an armed resident.

  • Angel Bousquet Sep 12, 1:38 p.m.
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    I missed it as well. Some readers just love to jump to conclusions and seize any opportunity to spew hate and intolerance. The article sounds to me like an armed burglar got what was coming to him when he attempted to enter a civilian's residence; I see absolutely no correlation with BLM.

  • Cat Cat Sep 12, 1:18 p.m.
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    I saw no mention of race in the article so I don't get the other comments? Maybe I missed it.

  • Betsy Sparks Sep 12, 1:14 p.m.
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    Why should there be outrage? The article makes it sound like the thief was shot by the resident, not the police. Regardless of how killed him, the thief was shooting a gun and shot the resident - he needed to be stopped. He was wearing a mask and breaking into an apartment. Even if he was killed by a cop, shooting him was justified given the circumstances.