Helping Hand Mission drum major killed in shooting in Raleigh

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Monday, August 2, 2021
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Helping Hand Mission organizers say Charlie Debnam was volunteering at the time of the shooting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Helping Hand Mission drum major was killed in a shooting over the weekend while volunteering with the organization.

The shooting happened Saturday around 7:30 p.m. in the 700 block of Rock Quarry Road.

Police found Charlie Cook Debnam, 31, with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

Helping Hand Mission organizers say Debnam was volunteering at the time and walked across the street to buy something to drink.

They say that people in two cars started shooting at one another and Debnam was hit in the crossfire.

Executive Director Sylvia Wiggins told ABC11 she heard the shots and originally thought they were fireworks and later learned Debnam had been shot.

"This day he was with me all day and it was hot and I said, 'I want a Gatorade' and he said, 'me too.' And he said, 'I'm going to go get me one.' I went to reach for my pocketbook and he said, 'don't worry I got some money on me.' He left and went across the street. About maybe 7, 8, 10 minutes later we heard all this pop pop pop pop pop."

Raleigh police confirmed Debnam was not the intended target in the shooting. They have said that an investigation is underway.

A 911 caller said about seven shots were fired.

Organizers say the marching band is "struggling with the loss of a great leader and brother" and called Debnam caring and warm.

Anyone with information that might assist the investigation is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP or visit for text and email reporting options.

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