Local News

Woman killed at Duke clinic

Posted May 4, 2010
Updated May 5, 2010

— A female employee was shot and killed at a Duke University Health System clinic Tuesday afternoon, Durham police said.

The suspected gunman died after being shot by police, a family member said.

Police said a man entered the North Duke Street Clinic, at 3116 N. Duke St., at about 2:50 p.m. and fired several shots at the woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Woman shot, killed at Duke clinic Woman shot, killed at Duke clinic

Relatives identified the woman as Charlene King, a phlebotomist at the clinic for more than 20 years. The gunman was identified as her former boyfriend, Burnette Taylor.

The clinic was placed on lockdown following the shooting, an employee said.

Officers training nearby responded to the shooting, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said. He said the shooting was not random and that the victim was targeted.

About 40 minutes after the shooting, police found Taylor hiding in a wooded area near the corner of Broad and Carver streets. He exchanged gunfire with police and was shot.

Taylor, 52, died at Duke University Hospital a few hours later, a family member said.

Taylor was a registered sex offender. He was convicted in October 1993 of second-degree rape and served more than 12 years of a 35-year sentence before being released from prison in February 2006, according to state Department of Correction records.

He was convicted on misdemeanor assault on a female charges in February 2007 and in March 2009 and was placed on probation both times, records show. The Department of Correction lists him as a probation absconder.

King recently ended her year-long relationship with Taylor, said her stepson, Steven Shealey.

"I guess he realized he had lost something like a jewel, something precious as she was, and that's why he couldn't let go," Shealey said. "I guess he felt, if he couldn't have her, he didn't want anyone to have her."

"They were having some kind of a dispute. That's all I know," said Taylor's son, Antwon Parker. "My thoughts and prayers are with that other victim's family, but this is a tragic time right now for the family."

King, who had three adult daughters and four grandchildren, moved into a house in Graham in Orange County only a week or two ago. Shealey said. She had worked at the Duke clinic for more than 20 years, he said.

"She didn't deserve this at all. She was someone who would give you the shirt off her back – a very sweet woman," Shealey said.

The shooting is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Durham Police Department’s Professional Standards and Criminal Investigation Divisions.

The SBI review of the shooting is standard procedure for any incident in which a North Carolina law enforcement officer fires a weapon.

As a result of the hospital shooting, Duke has canceled all Wednesday appointments at the North Duke Street Clinic. Patients who have questions about their appointments should call 919-613-7650.

Officials say the clinic is expected to reopen Thursday.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • pineapple May 5, 2010

    The metal detectors at Durham Regional ER are a JOKE! My husband and I took my son on Friday night around 9:00. When my husband went through the buzzer sounded. The metal detector operator looked at his shoes and said the rivets on his boots caused the detector to go off and he could go on in. WHY did she make him remove his boots and go back until no alarm? We watched this happen over and over as more folks came in. Anyone could have had a gun tucked into their clothing. Like I said...a JOKE.

  • JAT May 4, 2010

    no, deathrow, probably more innocent people would have been killed as everyone pulled their guns and shot at the first thing they saw moving.

  • jackieflash42 May 4, 2010

    Taylor's son says he may never see his dad again. Well son, sometimes things like this can happen when your dad is involved in a shooting that leaves a woman dead. Don't mean to sound rude, but you ain't the only one that is suffering from this.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 4, 2010

    supernik87: "If every person in that clinic had a gun, that woman would still have died."

    Correct. BUT... justice would have been served before that man could have found an Exit.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 4, 2010

    No worries about this crime. This was a domestic issue. The general public shouldn't worry about a crime like this. Its the drug shootings on the street, and the random robberies and carjackings, that should worry the residents.

  • JAT May 4, 2010

    what a mixed up affair - all those people and relationships got me lost. "his stepmother's ex boyfriend" and no one has the same last name.

  • Just the facts mam May 4, 2010

    Durham use to be a good city to live in - those days are long gone...

  • supernik87 May 4, 2010

    To the Durham haters, domestic violence happens everywhere. This in no way makes Durham any more dangerous than other cities.

    45ACP, if you try to pull a gun on someone who just walked into a building and started shooting someone in cold blood do you really think he's going to give you a chance to pull the trigger. You would be long gone by then. If every person in that clinic had a gun, that woman would still have died.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap May 4, 2010

    i am sorry a woman died. i am also sorry that wral posts sentences like this:

    "Relatives said that Charleen King, 54, was shot and killed at Duke's North Duke Street Clinic on Tuesday afternoon, Durham police said."

    'Relatives said blah blah blah, police said.' So let me get this straight, the police are the ones saying that the relatives said this?

  • allihaveleftischange May 4, 2010

    As a result of the hospital shooting, Duke Medicine has canceled all appointments at its North Duke Street Clinic for Wednesday. Patients having questions about their appointments should call 911-613-7650.

    Perhaps if they dial the number you gave they can talk to the police themselves way to go wral you screwed up typing something else!