74-year-old woman killed by July 4 'celebratory gunfire' in Durham, police say

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 74-year-old woman was struck and killed by celebratory gunfire in Durham on the night of the Fourth of July.

Paulette Thorpe was hit by the bullet along the 500 block of Burlington Ave around 11 p.m.

Thorpe died at the hospital a short time later.

"Last night as people throughout Durham peacefully celebrated the July 4th holiday with their friends and family, a small few chose to put our community at risk by carelessly firing guns into the air," said Durham Police Chief, Cerelyn J. Davis. "This reckless behavior led to the tragic death of Ms. Paulette Thorpe. Ms. Thorpe's death reminds us that we as a community must work together to prevent these senseless acts, so that no family suffers such a tragedy ever again."

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Crimestoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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