Local News

Suspect in Durham clinic shooting had criminal history

Posted May 5, 2010 5:33 a.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2010 11:53 p.m. EDT

— The man police say shot a female worker at a Duke University Health System clinic on Tuesday had an extensive criminal history that included violence against women, according to state Department of Correction records.

Police said Charlene King, 49, was shot to death inside the North Duke Street Clinic shortly before 3 p.m.

In 911 calls released on Wednesday, a caller from inside the clinic said King was shot at least three times.

People attempted to perform CPR on King, but she died at the scene.

One caller said she saw the shooter leave the clinic heading southbound on Duke Street on foot.

Shortly after the shooting, a suspect was found hiding at Broad and Carver streets, and he exchanged gunfire with police and was shot.

The gunman, identified as Burnette Taylor, 52, died at Duke University Hospital a few hours later.

King had recently ended a year-long relationship with Taylor, her relatives said.

Taylor was a registered sex offender and had served 12 years of a 35-year sentence for a second-degree rape conviction in October 1993, according to Department of Correction records. He got probation for misdemeanor assault on a female convictions in February 2007 and March 2009. The DOC listed him as a probation absconder.

Court records show that King had not filed a domestic violence order against Taylor, but another woman filed an order against him in November, claiming Taylor attacked her.

“He slapped me across my face, took my phone, broke it, continued to slap, kick, punch me with his fists. Blackening both my eyes, fracturing my ribs, my liver was cut due to the kick in the ribs,” the woman said in the order.

At the time of his death, Taylor was facing charges of driving under the influence, communicating threats and injury to personal property.

Two families grieve after shooting

King had three daughters and four grandchildren. Taylor had five sons and three daughters.

One of Taylor's sons, Antwon Parker, expressed sorrow for King's family Wednesday morning.

"I want to offer my condolences and prayers and let them know I am truly sorry that one person's mistake led to someone else's loss and, at the same time, my loss," Parker said.

Parker said his mother had four other children with Taylor. He said she left Taylor after he was accused of rape and sent to prison. Parker didn't elaborate on the conviction but said it was a "horrible crime."

Taylor had drug and alcohol problems but was doing odd jobs, fixing roof and floors, and seemed fine when they talked last week, Parker said. Though he didn't talk to his son about his relationships, but  Parker said his father told him that  he was going to get things straightened out in his life.

Parker said that he never thought the man he went on a fishing trip with last year could be capable of murder. He said it seems like his father snapped.

"Just like her family, it took me by surprise. I didn't see it coming. There were no warning signs to me," he said.

Parker's mother said she had known King in childhood and she was a good woman.

King’s stepson, Steven Shealey, said she had recently moved into a new house in Graham following her breakup with Taylor.

"I guess he realized that he had lost something like a jewel, something precious as she was, and that's why he couldn't let her go," Shealey said. “I guess he felt if he couldn't have her, he didn't want anyone to have her."

Durham Crisis Center advocate Jessie Sterner knows the dangers of domestic violence and hopes this latest incident doesn't deter women living in fear from reaching out for help.

“We have a shelter. We have support groups. We have counseling. There are people there so you don’t have to be alone,” Sterner said.

The shooting was the fourth officer-involved shooting by Durham police in the past four months. It was under internal review by Durham police and external review by the State Bureau of Investigation, following standard procedure for any shooting in which a North Carolina law enforcement officer fires a weapon.

One Durham officer, B.T. Black, was placed on administrative duty pending the investigation, which is also standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting, authorities said.

All Wednesday appointments at the North Duke Street Clinic have been canceled. Patients who have questions about their appointments should call 919-613-7650. The clinic is expected to reopen Thursday.