Newspaper carrier exchanges gunfire with carjacker
Posted November 22, 2011
Durham, N.C. — A man stole a Durham newspaper carrier's vehicle at gunpoint early Tuesday, and the man and the carjacker exchanged gunfire, police said.
No injuries were reported in the incident, which occurred shortly before 4:30 a.m. in the 3500 block of North Roxboro Road.
A 70-year-old Durham Herald-Sun carrier told police that he was loading a newspaper rack at a shopping center when a man brandishing a weapon came up behind him. The gunman jumped into the carrier's 2008 Chevrolet Colorado pickup and fired a shot at the carrier, who then pulled out his own .357-caliber handgun and returned fire.
"As the guy was driving off, (our carrier) let off five shots," said Brent Agurs, circulation manager for the Herald-Sun.
The carrier didn't want to be identified for safety reasons.
Agurs said the carrier believes one of the shots wounded the carjacker, adding that investigators told the carrier that they found blood inside the pickup.
Officers found the pickup abandoned less than a mile away, in the 100 block of West Edgewood Drive shortly before 8:30 a.m.
A woman who lives in the neighborhood said she saw the pickup parked there with its hazard lights flashing at about 6:15 a.m. When it was still there almost two hours later, she took a closer look and saw that the driver's window had been shattered. She then called police.
One resident might have found the carjacker's shirt, neighbors said, adding that police also marked places along the street where drops of blood were found.
Police declined to confirm what evidence they had in the case, saying only that investigators are following several leads.
The newspaper carrier was shaken by the incident but is otherwise fine, Agurs said.
"I'm glad he's OK. It could have been a lot worse," Agurs said, noting that he always tells his carriers to be cautious on their routes.
The carjacker is described as a black man with light complexion, 6 feet tall with a medium to large build. He might be in his 30s, and he was wearing an orange shirt and a bandanna.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Durham police at 919-560-4582, extension 29239, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.