Local News

Man charged with shooting Durham officer

Posted July 2, 2009 5:45 a.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2009 8:21 a.m. EDT

— A Durham police officer was shot around 4 a.m. Thursday while responding to a call about gunfire and a break-in at South Square Townhomes, 3300 Shannon Road, Apt. 5-A.

Investigators said that Thomas Rashawn Monroe, 23, fired from inside the apartment as officers approached. Officer D.J. Youmans, 32, was shot once in the stomach after a bullet went under his vest, Police Chief Jose Lopez said.

Youmans underwent surgery at Duke Hospital and was in stable condition.

"I'm hopeful for a good recovery," Lopez said. “He’s progressing, fortunately, and we are still praying for him.”

Monroe, of 3300 Shannon Road, Apt. 5-A, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm. He was being held in the Durham County Jail under a $250,000 bond. His first court appearance was set for Monday morning.

Youmans had only been a member of the force for about a month, Lopez said. Before that, he worked with the New York Police Department for two years.

Youmans was accompanied on the call by a training officer. The Durham officers followed protocol, Lopez said. Neither of them fired any shots.

“You have to know who you are shooting at,” Lopez said. “You can't just shoot randomly into the dark or inanimate space if you don't know what is behind it.”

Police were questioning four people who were inside the townhome. They were trying to find the weapons used in the shooting.

Residents said they were trying to process what they heard. Nakyah Bell, who lives across the street, said she was asleep when she heard as many as 10 shots.

"(It was) scary a little bit because you don't know where bullets are coming from. And just laying in bed, you don't know if a bullet is coming from this way or that way," Bell said.

In a 911 call released Thursday afternoon, a caller reported hearing four shots. The woman said one of the bullets hit her wall, and two others went into her door.

During the call, gunfire can be heard in the background. “They still shooting,” the woman screamed.

Youmans' family was coming from New York to be with him as he recovers.

Monroe's first court appearance was set for Monday morning.