The incident occurred on Thelma Street off Dearborn Drive, near East Club Boulevard and I-85, just after 7:30 p.m.
According to the boy's uncle, two teens were walking down the street and exchanged words with people in a car. The car made U-turn and shots were fired. The suspects ran away.
The 9-year-old was in the front yard with his family as they worked on a car.
The boy's family says they heard shots and told everyone to "get down, get down." That is when the boy said he was hit.
One bullet hit the child between the eyes. He was taken to Duke Hospital with serious injuries, but is expected to survive.
His uncle told Eyewitness News that "it's a sad day in Durham when you're not even safe in your front yard," and that too many teenagers are carrying guns.
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez hopes this shooting of an innocent child will hopefully be the final straw for the city.
"When I hear a 9-year-old, I'm hoping this community goes to outrage so that they can see about getting guns off the street. We can't do it ourselves," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said. "We know the poeple of this community know who have the guns and we hope they come forward and help us get them off the street."
An investigation is underway. Officers are trying to identify the people in the car -- the intended targets.
Two suspects are in police custody and are being questioned at police headquarters.
Investigators have charged Lensy Arnette Gill, 16, with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, going armed to the terror of the people, discharging firearm in city limits and possession of a weapon by a juvenile.