Local News

Durham officers donate blood to support wounded colleague

Posted July 6, 2009 2:58 p.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2009 11:13 p.m. EDT

— Dozens of Durham police officers have donated blood in recent days in support of an officer who was shot Thursday.

Officer D.J. Youmans, 32, was shot while responding to a call about gunfire and a break-in at South Square Townhomes, 3300 Shannon Road.

Nearly 70 donors, some Durham city employees and members of the Durham County Sheriff's Office, have given blood in support of Youmans since the shooting.

“It's a wonderful thing that the police officers are doing to replenish our blood supply, but we just hate the circumstances that cause them to be here,” said Toby Barfield, with the American Red Cross.

"When a crisis hits, everybody will come together and help one another out,” said Chris Wiesemann, a SWAT team member who helped train Youmans.

More than 60 units of blood were used during Youmans' emergency surgery. He is recovering at Duke University Hospital and was moved out of intensive care Monday.

"Of course, it tears at your heartstrings. There is always the possibility that when they walk out that door that something is going to happen to them, and they may not come home,” said Dana Clark, a deputy’s wife who gave blood.

The donations came at a time when the Red Cross needs blood the most. The blood supply is extremely low during the summer months.

Thomas Rashawn Monroe, 23, of 3300 Shannon Road, Apt. 5-A, is accused of shooting Youmans. He was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm and remains in custody at the Durham County Jail under $250,000 bond.

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