Local News

Arrest made in fatal shooting of Durham teen

Posted September 8, 2010
Updated September 9, 2010

— A 19-year-old who faced firearms charges after a 2008 party in which two people were shot dead, including the half-brother of a suspect in slaying of Eve Carson, faces murder charges in an Aug. 11 slaying.

Dylan S. Turner, 19, of 412 Junction Road, was charged with murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle in the slaying of Torian Thornton, 17, on Aug. 11, the Durham County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.

Investigators believe that Thornton was among friends at a Cook-Out restaurant, at 3624 Hillsborough Road, where gunshots were fired. Deputies found Thornton, who had been shot in the head, in the passenger seat of a car at an Exxon station on East Club Boulevard, near Interstate 85, around 1:30 a.m. Friends took him to a local hospital, where he died a day later.

Investigators with the sheriff's office said that they received several tips from the public, including those called into Crime Stoppers, which led to Turner's arrest. He was placed in the Durham County jail.

Turner was convicted in 2008 of misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a minor and sentenced to probation, according to state Department of Correction records.

The charge stemmed from a shooting at a Nov. 8, 2008, party in which two people were killed and two injured. One of those killed was Shelton Henderson Jr., 19, the younger half-brother of Demario James Atwater, a suspect in the slaying of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior Eve Carson.

At the time of Thornton's death, Durham police investigators said they were looking into whether it was connected to two shootings just a few hours earlier. Larry Donnell Timberlake, 42, of East Point, Ga., died after being shot at a Red Lobster restaurant, at 4416 Chapel Hill Blvd., and Robert Terry, 30, of Durham, was shot while inside a car in the parking lot of the nearby AMF Durham Lanes bowling alley.

No suspects have been named in those shootings.


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  • jervin6 Sep 10, 2010

    Bill0: Simple possession of a firearm by a minor is one thing and maybe a misdemeanor, but for him to carrying a firearm concealed to a party with the intentions of using it to inflict serious bodily harm is quite another. Since there was a shootout in which two people were killed and he was linked to the shootings it seems in my opinion that he may have been offered lesser charges in return for him to testify and give up the trigger man. Seems likely to me and plea bargains should not be offered to conspirators to murder. Plea Bargaining is not enforcement of current laws and should not apply in crimes that involve fire arms especially if someone is killed. So again I argue if current laws had been applied he should have received more than he got and perhaps he would not have been out to commit another shooting.

  • mad_dash Sep 9, 2010

    I think after he is convicted, we give him a shovel.. make him dig a big hole.. we "dispose" of him.. and throw him in the hole he dug.. then cover him up!! And wipe our hands clean of this filth. I would pay to see that..

  • wildcat Sep 9, 2010

    Oh, so very young and to receive life in prison with parole. Parents raise your children right so they will never have to face prison time; ever.

  • Weetie Sep 9, 2010

    Don't blame it JUST on TV...where are parents today that SHOULD be raising their children? Every time a minor is arrested the parent should be also. It wouldn't take many arrests to get the parents attention!

  • bill0 Sep 9, 2010

    As for the current laws being enough - this case is an excellent example of why they aren't. North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.7 defines possession of a handgun by a minor to be a misdemeanor. That is why he was right back out on the street. Even though he was shot at by a rival gang and suspected of being involved in a prior shooting, they had to let him go. Yeah, that law is all we need.

    Furthermore, if he was 9 months older and was wearing the handgun on his hip instead of concealed, it would have been perfectly legal. The NRA is working hard to preserve his "open carry" rights.

  • slappywhite Sep 9, 2010

    it was a misunderstanding.

  • piratesnmanga2 Sep 9, 2010

    Bill0...why does everyone always play the race card. I don't care if the kid's black, white, or pink with purple polka dots. The law says he can't have a firearm so he can't. And if it's a hunting rifle, he'd better only have it when he's hunting and with an adult, if that's what the law says. Though, there is a bit of a difference between a handgun and a rifle. For one, their easier to hide and for another, the sole purpose of a handgun is to harm another person, be it in aggression or self-defense. I agree with jervin6. Current laws should be enforced, rather than new ones being made. Otherwise, law abiding citizens wind up not owning guns since it's against the law and those with no respect for the law will have them anyway.

  • Agent 46 Sep 9, 2010

    well,cant say that i feel bad 4 the half brother,maybe the carson got a little bit of revenge

  • jervin6 Sep 9, 2010

    Bill0... It is not illegal for a 17yo to own a knife. It is illegal for a person under the age of 18 to own a handgun. It is illegal for anyone to carry a concealed handgun without proper permit. And I believe it is illegal to be an accessory to a crime that involves a firearm that results in someone’s death. So yes, I think the guy deserved something other than what he got. "The NRA has fought tooth and nail to keep handguns from being treated differently by the courts." Not sure what you mean by "differently" But, We have fought to get the courts to recognize gun violence needs to be treated seriously and enforce current laws and toughen the penalties to remove criminals off the streets. ......"We really do need new laws to address the incredible problem of handguns in our cities." I disagree. Demand that the courts enforce our laws that are on the books. Making new laws that restrict a law abiding person rights is not going to help make anyone safer.

  • awheywego Sep 9, 2010

    conundum - what? Try that again, in English.