'She has already forgiven you:' Family of 74-year-old woman hit by celebratory gunfire on July 4th begs killer to come forward

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham police say they have leads in the shooting death of Paulette Thorpe on Independence Day, but they don't have enough.

Thorpe's family is begging the community to come forward with information on who may have accidentally shot and killed her -- just a few weeks before her 75th birthday.

"The type of person she is, I can tell you she has already forgiven you," said Herman Davenport, who considers himself an "adoptive" nephew of Thorpe's. "That's her. She has already forgiven you. You took the kind of person this world needed. The type of person. You took someone who brings so much love and joy."

Thorpe's family held a news conference along with Durham police on Wednesday asking for help.

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Durham police officers say there is no update in the search for the person who shot and killed Paulette Thorpe.

Thorpe was visiting with a friend on the Fourth of July, when investigators say a bullet fell from the sky, striking her torso. The shooting happened in the 500 block of Burlington Avenue around 11 p.m.

Thorpe died from her injuries.

Police are working to determine what type of gun was used to narrow their search.

Durham police are encouraging people to come forward who may have fired a shot in a two-mile radius of Burlington Ave and Fayetteville Road.

Anyone with information is asked to call (919) 683-1200. There's a cash reward for tips.

Public viewing for Lillie Paulette Thorpe will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday at Scarborough and Hargett Celebration of Life Center Inc., 309 N Queen St. in Durham.

A graveside service of celebration has been scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at Beechwood Cemetery, 3300 Fayetteville St., Durham, with viewing from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
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