Suspect in football player's death faces more charges

Staff WriterAugust 23, 2011 

— The Texas man charged with killing a Pennsylvania football player and injuring another in June faces nine additional charges of attempted murder and assault.

Gabriel James Gamez, 22, of San Antonio was charged initially with first-degree murder in the death of Darrell Turner Jr., 18, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent of inflicting serious injury in the shooting of Thomas Woodson, 16.

On Aug. 15, Gamez was indicted on additional charges of attempted murder of Woodson and attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill Dustin Creel, Jaylen Coleman, Robert Lee Foster and Isaiah Faulk.

The players had stopped in Durham to visit Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill on their way to a football camp in Florida.

Turner, Woodson and Coleman played for Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pa.

The players probably got together with Creel, Foster and Faulk, who played for other schools, to make the trip together, according to CaraZanella, spokeswoman for Gateway High School.

During the off season, football players often take the opportunity to go to different football camps, she said.

They were headed back from a restaurant to the Comfort Inn on McFarland Drive on June 23 when they encountered Gamez in the parking lot near the AT&T store. Gamez was in town for a family funeral.

Gamez was offended because the players were eating peanuts and dropping the shells on the ground as they walked, Assistant District Attorney Theresa Pressley said in court earlier this month.

At first the players didn't realize they were being confronted. Gamez approached them, pulled a pistol and fired as they all ran away, Pressley said.

"There is no rhyme or reason to this crime," Pressley said. Lives were altered and one life was lost over peanut shells, she said.

Rebecca Wiggins, public defender for Gamez, said he was alone when the altercation with the football players occurred, and he could have been acting in self-defense.

There is no disagreement that some sort of verbal dispute happened, she said.

Gamez is being held in the Durham County jail in lieu of $750,000 bail for the first-degree murder charge and $250,000 bail for the assault with a deadly weapon charge. His next court appearance on these charges is the first week of October.

He most likely will have a first appearance on the additional charges at the beginning of September.

ldouglas@newsobserver.com or 919-932-2008

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service