Local News

Fundraiser helps family of Durham tire store shooting victim

Posted May 19, 2012 9:17 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2012 11:01 p.m. EDT

— Nearly two months after a fatal shooting at a Durham tire store, friends and co-workers gathered at the scene Saturday to raise money for the family of one of the victims.

Naomi Wright, 65, was working as a cashier at J.T. Tire, at 2202 E. Geer St., on March 23 when a gunman opened fire, killing her and customer Abdelgadir Mergany Abdelganir, 32.

Store employee Terry Shaw, 51, and customer Javier Ramirez were critically wounded. Police charged O'Brian McNeil White, 24, of Durham, in the shooting.

"(It was) the worst day of my life," said Harold Wright, Naomi Wright's husband of 45 years. "I don't think (there are) words to describe how I felt."

Saturday's fundraiser, which included live music, a silent auction and food, will help the Wright family pay for funeral costs.

"I really appreciate it with all my heart," Harold Wright said. "I just loved her so much."

Even though Saturday's event provided some comfort, the Wright family says the pain will never go away.

"In a way, when she died, I died with her," Harold Wright said.

"Every day's a different day. Every day has a different struggle, but you pray and ask God for help," said Joanna Wright, the victim's daughter.

The family has also asked God to deal with Naomi Wright's killer. Her husband and daughter have forgiven her accused killer but say they won't forget.

"What he gets on this side will be nothing compared to what he'll get on the other side," Harold Wright said.

White is 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. Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty.

Those who want to donate to the Wright family can send checks made out to J.T. Tire with Naomi Wright's name in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to the tire store or dropped off.