Local News

Shooting victims, supporters rally against violence in Durham

Posted April 7, 2012 8:09 p.m. EDT
Updated April 9, 2012 12:19 p.m. EDT

— A robbery and shooting spree at a Durham tire shop that killed two and injured three others is an example of senseless violence, the kind those at a rally Saturday hope to stop.

John Turner, owner of J.T. Tire, at 2202 E. Geer St., was hit in the head by the man who opened fire in his place of business.

"He jumped back and put the gun on me and it clicked, then he whacked me on the head with it," Turner said. He believes the only reason he survived on March 23 was because the shooter ran out of bullets.

His cousin and employee, Naomi Wright, was not so lucky. Turner said she was shot and killed because she wasn't giving the robber money fast enough.

A customer, cab driver Abdelgadir Abdelganir, was also shot and killed. Two others were shot and are recovering.

The dozens who marched down Geer Street Saturday, signs in hand, hope the man who caused the chaos is made to pay.

O'Brian White, 24, was arrested a week later and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

"You want people to pay for their crimes so that other people know that they're safe to move around in the community," said Scott Perry, a cousin of Naomi Wright.

Turner agrees. "This man, regardless of what kind of mental condition he's in, has no business in society," he said.

White's friends and family have said he has shown signs of mental illness, but he is not the killer. They think he was targeted by police because he has a small tattoo on his face. Initial reports from the shooting said the man behind the gun had a similar tattoo.

White is being held at the Durham County jail on $3 million dollar bond.