Local News

Teen killed as Durham visitors cross paths

Posted June 23, 2011
Updated June 24, 2011

— A chance encounter between members of a Pennsylvania high school football team on their way to Florida and a Texas man in town for a family funeral led to gunfire in a Durham parking lot late Thursday, leaving one teen dead and another wounded, police said.

Police said that Gabriel James Gamez, 22, of San Antonio, Texas, had an altercation with Darrell Turner, 18, and Thomas Woodson, 15, before shooting them in the parking lot of an AT&T store at 5348 McFarland Drive at about 10 p.m.

KDKA, a Pittsburgh affiliate of WRAL News, reported that Turner and Woodson, both of Monroeville, Pa., were part of a football team from Gateway High School outside Pittsburgh and were on their way to a camp in Florida.

The teens were going to have an informal meeting with Duke University athletic staff Friday morning, Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence said.

Turner, a rising senior and a linebacker, was taken to Duke University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Woodson, a rising junior, was shot in the leg, and authorities said his wound wasn't life-threatening.

"It's just senseless," Darrell Turner Sr. told KDKA of his son's shooting. "They were going to tour most of the ACC schools – Duke, North Carolina. They were going to Florida, and there was a tournament down there that they were going to participate in.

"It was really just supposed to be fun and football," he said.

Turner Sr. said some members of the team, including his son, were leaving a Durham restaurant Thursday night when they exchanged words with a man who then opened fire on them.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said investigators believe that Gamez and the victims didn't know each other. Investigators were trying to talk to other members of the football team to piece together what led to the shooting, he said.

Pennsylvania teens shot in Durham Teen killed as Durham visitors cross paths

Woodson ran to the Outback Steakhouse at 3500 Mount Moriah Road to call for help. Police said Gamez was at the restaurant shortly before the shooting.

Police arrested Gamez at about 2 a.m. Friday at the nearby SpringHill Suites hotel, at 5310 McFarland Drive, where he was staying. Officers found a weapon in Gamez' hotel room that they believe was used in the shooting, Lopez said.

Gamez, who police say was in town for a family funeral, was charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He was placed in the Durham County jail and ordered held without bond pending a Monday morning court appearance.

According to court records from Bexar County, Texas, Gamez was due in court there on July 19 on a theft charge. His criminal record in Texas also includes charges for marijuana possession, drunken driving and possession of an unlawful weapon.

The football team was staying at a nearby Comfort Inn and Suites, at 3508 Mount Moriah Road, police said.

"Individuals who were in passing encountered each other," Lopez said. "This was a situation that could have happened in Anytown, USA, and is not representative of the city of Durham."


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  • coachlowery Jul 1, 2011

    Buckeye, Seriously....... The football players "mug Shots" are Head Shoots from their Maxpreps & Rivals Pages goto www.ncpreps.com and you will see more " mug shots" with the same white back ground. Don't assume that all young football players are crminals,but I know that hard for the BuckEye's

  • BUCKEYEnNC Jun 27, 2011

    What's interesting, is that EVERYONE involved has a mug shot! Seriously... What's up with that?

  • Lightfoot3 Jun 27, 2011

    "wonder who started it?" - slappywhite

    Me too. I'm wondering if the football players talked smack to the wrong person.

  • dlb800 Jun 27, 2011


    Do you think criminals are going to know that someone was in town for a funeral, and therefore wouldn't commit a crime against this person?

    Not that I am advocating violence, in fact, I'm against violence, however, I am more against crime.

  • slimgirl04 Jun 27, 2011

    Mr. Sensible I think so too, tell me how you shoot and kill someone and just go back to your room and chill like nothing happened? He definatly had other issues that he drove from Texas with and this young man paid the price for them.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jun 24, 2011

    "Come here from Texas, supposedly for a funeral and you're packin'?"

    Everywhere I go...

    Just remember, when every second counts, police are only ten minutes away.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jun 24, 2011

    "Had it been self defense no one would have gotten shot... "

    Right. This makes a lot of sense.


  • slappywhite Jun 24, 2011

    wonder who started it?

  • johnny2times Jun 24, 2011

    I guess it was to hard for this guy to just walk away...and why are you in town for a funeral and packin heat?

  • bronzegoddess40 Jun 24, 2011

    Ever been on the bad side of an assault.

    "Hold it right there partner, or I'll call 911!"

    Let me know how that works out for you, when you're lying on the ground and being kicked in the head.

    And exactly when did this happen in this particular situation? Where was that he was on the ground being kicked in the head? Don't make excuses for a murderer because that is exactly what he is and he needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.