Local News

Victim's faith helps daughter cope with Durham store shooting

Posted March 24, 2012 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2012 11:14 p.m. EDT

— The daughter of a Durham tire store employee who was killed Friday afternoon in an unexplained shooting said her mother's strong faith and kindness toward others has given her the strength to speak out for justice.

Naomi Wright, 65, was at the front desk of J.T. Tire, at 2202 E. Geer St., around 3:30 p.m. when a man came in and started shooting, the Durham County Sheriff's Office said.

Wright and Abdelgadir Mergany Abdelganir, 32, a cab driver who was at the shop to get a tire fixed, were both killed. Two others were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Wright's daughter, Joanna Wright, said Saturday that she believes the gunman was trying to rob the store.

"He wanted the money. My mother gave him the money, and he still shot her," she said. "It is not fair."

Joanna Wright said The Tabernacle of Life church was very important in her mother's life. She played organ there for more than 40 years and hardly ever missed a service. Her mother's faith gives Joanna Wright some comfort, she said, but she still prays for justice.

"I know she is in a better place now," she said. "(But) I hate that my mother is gone and she has been taken from me ... I pray they catch this guy."

The Durham Sheriff's Office is still looking for a suspect. They described the man they were looking for as black, about 6 feet tall, with a tattoo on the left side of his face and wearing a brightly colored T-shirt. He reportedly fled the scene in a silver sedan.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200 or e-mail durham.crimestoppers@durhamnc.gov.