The life of a 7-year-old boy was tragically cut short during a shooting in Durham, North Carolina, according to WRAL. At around 5 p.m. on Sunday, a Honda Pilot SUV, carrying 10 passengers, was traveling in the rainy weather near Hillandale Road and Peppertree Street when shots were fired from another moving vehicle.
The Durham shooting flattened one of the SUV’s tires, preventing the driver from driving to a local hospital, but the driver was able to drive to a nearby Tokyo Express Cuisine restaurant in the 3200 block of Guess Road.
Brian Arevalo was reportedly inside of the restaurant when the incident unfolded. He said, “This one lady ran inside, all frantic, yelling and screaming, talking about her baby got shot. There were people circling the building, I’m assuming people in the car, all upset.”
When emergency medical services arrived at the scene, the child, whose name has not been released, was found injured inside of the vehicle. He was immediately transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries.
No other injuries were reported.
Police officials stated that there were five adults, including the child’s father, in the SUV, but after the shooting, three of them fled the scene on foot. It was reported the child’s mother may have been at the scene but she was not present during the time of the shooting. The passengers in the vehicle said the shooting occurred just moments after the passengers in the vehicle left a local pool.
There is no word on the make, model, or color of the vehicle involved in the Durham shooting, but it has been reported that there was an individual inside of the ambulance being treated by paramedics.
Reporters say about 15 police cruisers were seen at the scene and they cornered off the area in an effort to find out what happened. The patrons inside of the Tokyo Express Cuisine restaurant were unable to leave the scene until police completed their investigation.
Arevalo stated that some customers “were just in the kitchen because we were afraid of somebody was going to come in through the back, through the front. Nobody knew who was doing the shooting.”
His mother, Jacqueline Arevalo, said, “I was very scared. A lot of things go through your mind. As a mother, I wanted just to have my children safe. We were worried about the door in the back and then we saw a lot of people coming in.”
Officers with Durham Police Department were heartbroken after learning that the child did not survive the shooting. Several officers can be seen in a photo, consoling one another.
Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis stated that he is outraged over the child’s death, adding that this is the second child to die in recent weeks from injuries sustained in a shooting. He said, “This is a senseless tragedy once again caused by gun violence. We will work swiftly to identify and arrest the person or people responsible for taking the life of this innocent child.”
Wil Glenn, a spokesperson for the Durham Police Department, stated that “the incident does not appear to be random and investigators are following promising leads.”
Residents in Durham are speaking out after the boy’s shooting death, stating that “community needs to become safer.”
“You (the shooter) hurt a lot of people’s hearts today,” said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “This is just something we’ve got to stop in our community.”
Durham police officials will hold a news conference on Monday concerning the fatal shooting in Durham.
If anyone has information regarding the Durham shooting that took the life of a 7-year-old boy, you are urged to contact investigator J. Mitchell at 919-560-4440 or to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.
[Featured Image by P_Wei/iStock]