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Newspaper carrier exchanges gunfire with carjacker

Posted November 22, 2011

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— 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.

Durham carjacking Durham carjacker might have been wounded

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.

138 Comments

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  • fayncmike Nov 23, 2011

    ""Unbelievable! This is the poster boy for tighter gun control. MUCH tighter gun control!"

    So next time a home invasion happens; the victims should politely sit there and allow the armed criminals to execute them. It would make more sense for the homeowner to pull out a legally owned gun and shoot at the criminals even at the risk of hitting one of his family members. "

    Tell me that when and if you kill one of your children.

  • westernwake1 Nov 23, 2011

    "Unbelievable! This is the poster boy for tighter gun control. MUCH tighter gun control!"

    So next time a home invasion happens; the victims should politely sit there and allow the armed criminals to execute them. It would make more sense for the homeowner to pull out a legally owned gun and shoot at the criminals even at the risk of hitting one of his family members.

    The only further gun control that the U.S. needs is the ability for citizens to practice and aim their guns much better when confronted by armed criminals.

  • fayncmike Nov 23, 2011

    There is never any justification for irresponsible firearm use.

  • dumbhick Nov 23, 2011

    It is amazing how so many people get the complete picture, know the complete story, from the sketchy details reported on incidents like this. In this particular case all of the details about the incident are coming from one person who at the time would have been under duress. There are no other witnesses quoted or even mentioned.
    In spite of this folks are saying the man was justified, or unjustified for firing his weapon based solely on this sparse bit of information.
    While the story itself provides no justification for stricter or laxer gun control, the comments section does provide justification for our justice system and government regulations. There seems to be very little objectivity or interest in truth from the general public.

  • fayncmike Nov 23, 2011

    "I will freely admit that homeowners and business owners defending themselves with guns have hit innocent bystanders. This is because homes and businesses tend to have many people in them. And that many times the only way to save the lives of many people against armed criminals required taking risky shots in crowded space within a home or business.
    westernwake1"

    Unbelievable! This is the poster boy for tighter gun control. MUCH tighter gun control!

  • fayncmike Nov 23, 2011

    "fayncmike, are you seriously calling the driver Wyatt Earp? wow! please read the herald sun article. the driver was already outside of the truck when the attacker fired at him. it's completely irresponsible to try and lay any blame on the driver. he performed exceedingly well under very dire circumstances.
    kbizzle"

    I read plenty right here. When I read the comments here of many of those here with concealed carry permits I realize that the state of NC is WAY too lax in the issuing process. Apparently they hand out the permits the way the Easter Bunny hands out jelly beans. What, a quick class and sloppy background check and magically one is carrying around a pocket full of death? I got my CCP in New York City and believe me they don't hand them out like party favors.

  • chavez1985 Nov 22, 2011

    Even if a criminal is fleeing, if he fires a weapon or even shows a weapon you can legally fire on him. I for one am glad the paper carrier exercised his right to defend himself. Remember the old saying "Is better to be judged by 12, than to be carried by 6".

  • okemooutlaw44 Nov 22, 2011

    The fact that the perp had fired is enough to warrent the vict returning fire. Also the perp was in the process of commiting a felony that also warrents the use of deadly force. the victom does not have to retreat in this case.

  • westernwake1 Nov 22, 2011

    "I already answered your posit with some actual facts from just the very first article I pulled up from a simple Google search where an innocent bystander was shot by a store owner firing at a suspect. How many times do you think asking that question is suddenly going to make it true? I'll answer that for you. None. I thought so." - bigal02282

    The intent of my question was a legal carrying citizen on the street outside of a home or business. The correct answer for the past 10 years is "No". You cited an example involving a business owner shooting; not a concealed carry permit gun owner on the street.

    I will freely admit that homeowners and business owners defending themselves with guns have hit innocent bystanders. This is because homes and businesses tend to have many people in them. And that many times the only way to save the lives of many people against armed criminals required taking risky shots in crowded space within a home or business.

  • bigal02282 Nov 22, 2011

    Can you point to a single example in the last ten years where a legally gun carrying victim in the U.S. returned fire when being robbed by an armed robber on the street (not in a home or business) and hit an innocent bystander.

    No. I thought not.

    I already answered your posit with some actual facts from just the very first article I pulled up from a simple Google search where an innocent bystander was shot by a store owner firing at a suspect. How many times do you think asking that question is suddenly going to make it true? I'll answer that for you. None. I thought so.

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