Neighbors still in disbelief day after 2 women murdered in Apex: 'Shocked' & 'Traumatized'

Sean Coffey Image
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Neighbors still in shock 1 day after Apex double murder
Apex double murder: Family and friends remain stunned a day after the killing of Nancy Taylor and Gabrielle Raymond. Harry Hardman is in custody.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Family and friends remain stunned a day after two women and a dog were gunned down in broad daylight in an Apex neighborhood.

It happened Monday around 3 p.m. in the busy South Walk community along Brussels Drive and Chipping Drive.

The two women were identified as 69-year-old Nancy Taylor and 37-year-old Gabrielle Raymond.

Neighbors told ABC11 that Taylor and Raymond were friendly and well-liked in the neighborhood.

"This is Apex. I mean, it's the Peak of Good Living. And this happens in your own backyard?" said Pete Connerton, who lives down the block from Taylor.

Connerton said he and his wife are still reeling.

"I was shocked," he said. "I mean, I was, my wife was traumatized. She was very upset, and I talked to Nancy all the time."

Next-door neighbor Aubrey Land said she arrived home last night once the scene had been taped off and didn't think what law enforcement was saying could be possible.

"Disbelief," said Aubrey Land, who lived next door to Nancy. "Like, why did this happen? How did it happen? Who did it?"

Land said when she moved in next to Taylor last March, she warned her about a man who lived next door. That man's name was Harry Hardman, and he is now behind bars accused of murdering Taylor and Raymond.

Harry Hardman
Apex Police Department

"Nancy told me when I moved here to stay away," Land said. "She's like, 'you're a single woman, don't talk to him. He's weird. Like stay away from him, keep the kids away.'"

Neighbors said Taylor was one of the heads of South Walk's HOA, and that while Hardman allegedly had several run-ins with her in that capacity, they don't recall any major disputes.

"I mean, we're a townhome community, so you kind of have to keep the rules," Land said. "And she just was a rule follower."

Police give new details in investigation

The Apex Police Department revealed new details about the case on Tuesday afternoon.

The department said it all began when Hardman was outside in the neighborhood being loud. Someone called the police for assistance. Taylor and Raymond went up to Hardman to speak with him.

It's unknown what was said during their conversation, but Hardman eventually pulled out a gun and shot both of the women.

Police were already on the way to the scene, so they arrived in time to see Hardman walking into his home across the street. Police chased after him and caught up with him exiting out of the back of his home carrying an AR-15 rifle.

Hardman dropped the weapon when police commanded him to do so. He was then taken into custody.

Chopper 11 flew over the scene later to find the gun still lying outside Hardman's home. Police said the rifle was not used in the shooting of Taylor and Raymond. Instead, Hardman used a handgun in that instance, police said.

Police said they found numerous guns inside Hardman's home. Hardman is a former US Army captain who graduated from West Point in 2009.

Neighbors pointed out that Monday's federal holiday might have prevented an even greater tragedy from unfolding -- as there was much less foot traffic in the afternoon than there usually is.

"That's right around the time the busses dropped, the kids or parents walk up to the corner and, you know, get their children so who knows what would've happened," Connerton said.

Apex Police Chief Jason P. Armstrong released the following statement:

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the victims, their families and loved ones, and the entire community that has been impacted by this tragic event. I want to personally express my appreciation for the men and women of the Apex Police Department who did not hesitate to run toward danger to bring this incident to a quick end. Their bravery stopped this incident from having more victims and more tragedy and I am grateful for their bravery and swift action. In the coming days, weeks and months, we will all grapple with this loss in our community in our own way, but I pray we find comfort in our healing, together."

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