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Police: Man fatally shoots daughter, self in Durham

A Durham man allegedly shot his 22-month-old daughter before turning the gun on himself Saturday, police said.

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DURHAM, N.C. — A man allegedly shot his 22-month-old daughter before turning the gun on himself at a Durham apartment complex Saturday, police said. 

Tyrone Xavier Hester, 25, was found lying behind Building N at the Hampton Forest Apartments, at 901 Chalk Level Road, shortly before 1 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His daughter, Tyaijah Destiny Hester, was taken to Duke University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Neighbor Rashad Roberts said she heard two gunshots and ran outside. She said she saw a man and a toddler lying on the ground.

"As a mother, the first instinct is to run over to her and to just grab her and hold her," Roberts said. "But I ran over, and I'm just telling her, 'Hold on, baby.'"

Roberts said she could tell the girl was still alive. 

"She was a little fighter. She fought to the end. I wasn't there when she came into the world, but I was there when she was taking her last little breath," said Roberts, who said she didn't know Hester or his daughter.

Investigators said Hester did not live at the apartment complex, but was there visiting relatives.

A cousin, who did not want to be identified, said that Hester was upset that the girl's mother had started dating another man.

According to Department of Correction records, Hester was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on a legislative officer in December 2004. He has previously been on probation for possession of stolen goods and assault on a female charges.

The investigation is ongoing.


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