Durham woman, 73, killed by celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened Friday evening on Robinhood Road in Durham.

The shooting is believed to be from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve.

Durham police responded to a call about cardiac arrest Friday night at around 11 p.m. When officers arrived, they found a woman unconscious in a driveway.

"I didn't know what was going on, because I thought the woman got sick and had a heart attack. And later, when the police came down, I noticed bullets. He said you're safe up under the shed right there. That's when I thought it was a falling bullet," said Odell Lyons, who lives near the scene.

The shooting comes just two days after Durham Police released a PSA, warning of the dangers of celebratory gunfire. On July 4, 2020, 74-year old Paulette Thorpe was struck and killed during an incident of celebratory gunfire.

On Monday, Durham Police identified the woman as Deloris Evans Burwell, 73, of Durham.

"I found out this morning that the woman had passed away. And I got shook up right then," said Lyons.

Lyons said Burwell was in the neighborhood visiting a friend.

He said he did not hear shots fired prior to the incident but did hear three shots later in the evening, including two which struck his shed.

"It sounded like hailing, ting ting ting ting," said Lyons.

After attempting to resuscitate Burwell, EMS in Durham transported her to a hospital where doctors determined she had been shot.

She later died from her injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Bongarten at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29529 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
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