Local News

Durham Woman Murdered

Posted April 24, 2001 3:44 a.m. EDT

— Diane Williams, 31, of 307 W. Trinity Avenue, Apt. 10, was shot to death Friday night in front of her apartment building. Her brother, Shawn Williams, 29, of Rocky Mount, suffered a gunshot wound to his right side and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment.

There is no indication the shooting was gang-related. Earlier reports that the shooting was in retaliation for a previous gang-related homicide are untrue, according to detectives, and the victim apparently was not witness to any recent homicide.

"Investigators have no such confirmation [that the victim witnessed a murder]," Sgt. Ron Evans said Saturday afternoon.

Investigators said that instead the shooting appears to be drug-related. Officers found evidence that Williams was in possession of several rocks of crack cocaine when she was slain.

Williams was standing near her car when a white early 1990s Ford Thunderbird pulled up and stopped shortly before 8:30 p.m. A man got out and fired several shots. The shooter then jumped in the back seat of the Thunderbird. There were at least two other people in the car.

Shawn Williams was inside his sister's apartment when he heard gunfire. He came outside and was also shot.

Investigators have received conflicting details about what happened. There are indications that more than one shooter was involved, and there may have been a back-and-forth exchange of gunfire.

Investigators were following up on several leads in the case Saturday afternoon.

"The community has a right to be outraged about this violence, but please remember this is an unfortunate consequence of the drug and gang culture. This is not unique to Durham. Communities throughout the country experience violence associated with drugs and gangs," said Durham Police Chief Teresa Chambers on Saturday.

"Our citizens who are not involved in that lifestyle need not live in fear."

Anyone with information about Williams' death is asked to call Detective T.D. Mikels at 560-4440, ext. 275, or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,200 for information leading to an arrest.