Worker argument ends in deadly shooting at Durham Dollar Tree, police say

Sean Coffey Image
Monday, April 3, 2023
Worker dispute leaves 1 dead, 1 in jail
An argument between two employees led to one Dollar Tree worker being shot and killed Monday morning, Durham Police said.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- One man is dead and another man is charged with murder after a workplace shooting at a Dollar Tree in North Durham on Monday.

According to an eyewitness, two employees at Dollar Tree got into a verbal altercation before one of them shot and killed the other. Durham Police confirmed the victim was 35-year-old Byron Lamont Gainey, and that they've charged 42-year-old Saquan Evans with murder in the shooting.

Gainey, of Durham, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said it happened shortly after 9 a.m. at the Dollar Tree in the 1500 block of Glenn School Road.

It's the second instance of fatal workplace violence in the area in a week, after a man was stabbed to death at a business in Knightdale on Tuesday.

ALSO SEE: Knightdale worker fatally stabbed initiated attack, police chief says

"Unbelievable," said Dominique Jones, who shops at the Dollar Tree multiple times a week. "This world's definitely changing. I can't even say I even have a comment for that. I grew up in the '80s and the stuff that you just see today is unheard of."

Paul Perryman is the Associate Director of Inpatient Psychiatry for UNC Health and specializes in workplace violence. He attributed the recent uptick in workplace violence, in part, to an increase in societal anxiety.

"The more things that you have to be anxious about, the smaller your reserve of things you have to tap into to her cope with that anxiety," said Perryman. I think that lack of reserve is really pushing people over that edge."

Perryman said they're seeing the same trend in their hospital system.

"We've gone from you know, five calls a month to over 100 calls a month from frontline staff needing support for a situation that's been escalating," he said.

He added that sometimes, the best way to de-escalate a workplace dispute is just to listen.

"Sometimes people just need to be heard, and they need to say something," he said. "You don't always need to have a solution to their problem."

Evans is being held at the Durham County Jail without bail..

Anyone with further information on this incident is asked to call Investigator C. Robinson at (919) 560-4440 ext. 29415 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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