Local News

Duke Divinity school student recovering from gunshot wound

Posted July 27, 2020 7:18 p.m. EDT

— A Duke University Divinity School student is recovering in the hospital after being critically injured in a shooting in Durham.

The 23–year-old is still holding on strong, days after the incident.

Blaine Thomas was outside along Crest Street Friday, helping a neighbor who was locked out of a car.

Before he knew it, he was struck in the stomach by a bullet. Its a tragic moment that isn’t keeping him down.

Putting his thumbs up in photos, Blaine Thomas is holding on to his faith.

“He really is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful person,” said Beth Demme, a longtime family friend and UMC Pastor.

She describes him as a spiritual mentor. His spirit- shines throughout the notes he’s writing to family and friends.

One of them says, ‘I love you too’ and ‘Thank you. God is still good.’

“Maybe I would wonder, how could God let this happen, or why wasn’t I protected or- I’m only here because I’m trying to do what God wants me to do, but that’s just not Blaine,” says Demme describing his character.

Even after three surgeries, he’s thinking of others. That sentiment is reciprocated in a Go Fund Me page for his recovery that surpassed $50,000 in two days.

“I hope that his family feels it as an act of love,” Demme added.

The shooting on Crest Street still has neighbors very shaken up.

“It’s terrible because this neighborhood used to not be like that,” said Joe Patterson.

They said it appeared to be a random drive by shooting and anyone could’ve been hurt or killed.

“It could’ve went directly through my bedroom window. I’m directly across the street from it,” Patterson added.

Duke’s Divinity School released a statement saying, “We have been surrounding the victim and his family with love, support and prayers ever since, and we will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks.”

According to the family’s updates, Thomas made it out of that third surgery Monday afternoon.

They’re asking for prayers of healing and a full recovery during this long road ahead.

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