Local News

Courtroom fight leads to shooting outside Durham courthouse

Posted March 11, 2010

— An argument inside a Durham County courtroom Thursday morning led to a shooting near the courthouse that left a man injured.

Police said the victim was in the 100 block of East Parrish Street when he was shot in the foot shortly after 11 a.m. He was taken to Duke University Hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Shooting near Durham courthouse Courthouse argument leads to shooting

Durham police did not say what the fight was about or who might have been involved – only that the argument started in a District Court criminal courtroom.

Capt. Bill Wrenn, with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, said deputies in court asked the parties involved to leave and that the arguing continued outside the courtroom, where deputies intervened again.

That's when the parties involved went to the street and someone pulled a gun out of a vehicle.

"There were never any weapons inside the courthouse," said Wrenn, who is in charge of building security at the courthouse. "We have very good door security officers here, and they spend a lot of time checking to make sure that doesn't happen."

Investigators said the victim reported that someone fired gunshots from a gold-colored vehicle with tinted windows, but they released no other details of the vehicle.

Witnesses reported hearing three gunshots.

"There was a car, tan car, in the parking lot behind our building, and it immediately started backing up very quickly, and then you could hear people yelling that somebody had been shot," said Shelley Brown, who was making copies in a nearby law office.

Police have not made any arrests in the case, and they urge anyone with information about the crime to call Durham police at 919-560-4935, extension 29416, or Durham Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

Roads near the courthouse – Main Street at Church Street and a small section of East Parrish Street at North Church Street – were blocked off for more than an hour while police searched in the area.

Thursday's shooting is not the first near the courthouse. About a year ago, there was another shooting in a nearby church parking lot.

"It's just the nature of the beast," Wrenn said. "People come here, and they see who they were mad at to begin with and tempers flare."

About 18 deputies work inside the courthouse, and about 20 other law enforcement officers are there conducting business at any given time, Wrenn said.


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  • Redneck Fun Mar 11, 2010

    "how HARD is it to find these people??? they were in the courthouse, so obviously they had to i.d. in."

    Do you know anything about court? You don't ID in. All you have to do is pass through the metal detectors and your bags, etc.. get checked by the deputies at the doors. Nothing said they were there for charges brought up against them, and even if they were, how do you know which one it was? It also did not say they didn't have suspects, or that they didn't know who it was. All it said is there have been no arrest made, and if you had any info to call....

    My gosh y'all amaze me sometimes with the negative LEO comments!!!

  • archmaker Mar 11, 2010

    how HARD is it to find these people??? they were in the courthouse, so obviously they had to i.d. in.

  • issymayake Mar 11, 2010

    Someone brought a gun and begin shooting in a courthouse in Las Vegas. I bet most of you all are still gonna book trips to the Bellagio.

    As for moving the Durham Bulls to RTP. . .completely idiotic idea. That got the downtown revitalization ball rolling. That entire area from the DPAC to the American Tobacco campus is more beautiful than anything Raleigh's drab and dark downtown is offering.

  • whatusay Mar 11, 2010

    Need a couple of deputies outside the courthouse. Might be able to identify the suspects next time this happens. What floor is the cafeteria on?

  • yankee1 Mar 11, 2010

    the question is why, if there was an ongoing altercation somewhere around a courthouse, these thugs were simply allowed to take it outside? How many innocent people could have gotten hurt? It's time to treat the rights of innocents as being more important than those of thugs!!!

  • ncrebel Mar 11, 2010

    "These kinds of crimes IS happening........ English 101

  • tommys5 Mar 11, 2010

    Lets see gold car with tinted windows..... victim shot in foot.
    Car must have hydrolics shocks and bouncing.... yea ..... We will solve this case ......

  • wildcat Mar 11, 2010

    only in Durham".... Like I said, Oh well...

    Wrong. These kinds of crimes is happening every where and not just Durham. Apparently you don't read the news or watch and hear the news on TV or the radio.

  • wildcat Mar 11, 2010

    All they know how to do is pick up a gun instead of a book. What a sad world we now live in. These are the kind of parents that call themselves raising children. Pray for them.

  • ncrebel Mar 11, 2010

    Here is my Thought.......thanks for your input. The "rules" seem be different lately.....and the odd thing is, I didn't say anything bad, just an observation........."only in Durham".... Like I said, Oh well...