Football players testify against teammates’ accused shooter in Durham

CorrespondentApril 23, 2013 

— Teammates of a high school football player killed in Durham in 2011 testified Tuesday in the trial of a Texas man accused in the shooting.

“There was just a lot of blood everywhere,” said Isaiah Thomas Faulk, of Westford, Pa. “I just went down to see if (teammate Darrell Turner Jr.) was all right. I just tried to talk to him, but there was nothing I could do.”

Turner, 18, played for Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pa. The team was passing through Durham on June 23, 2011, to a tournament in Florida, when police say Gabriel Gamez, in town for a funeral, shot Turner and Thomas Woodson. Woodson, then 15, survived his wounds.

Testimony in Gamez’s trial began Tuesday.

Faulk told the jury that members of the team had left their hotel in the New Hope Commons area of U.S. 15-501 and Mount Moriah Road to walk to a nearby Five Guys burger chain. Heading back, he said, someone began yelling at them.

“All of a sudden, he became frantic and loud,” Faulk told police.

The man accused the group of throwing something at him, possibly a peanut or peanut shell. Prosecutors introduced photos of peanuts and peanut shells on the sidewalk into evidence, as well as a cup that Turner was said to have thrown on the ground after the man yelled racial slurs at the group.

“He said, ‘Which one of you (expletive) threw something at me?” player Robert Lee Foster testified. “He just kept asking us. … After awhile, we just started arguing.”

Foster testified that after Gamez pulled out a gun, he ran back to the hotel to tell his coach about it before he knew anyone had been shot. He heard the gunshots, he said.

Faulk said he saw the gun.

“I kinda froze. I felt a hand grab me, which kinda told me to start running.”

Faulk went back to Turner after seeing him on the ground.

“I heard a yell,” he said. “It was my buddy, Thomas Woodson. ’Cause he got shot on the leg. But he made it to T.G.I. Friday’s.”

Both teammates described being confused by the man’s accusing the players of throwing something at him. They both testified that Turner threw down a cup after the confrontation began.

Gamez wore a suit and took notes beside his lawyer, Rebecca Wiggins, Tuesday. He sometimes looked up at the witnesses as they testified about the confrontation, such as Faulk describing blood running out of Turner’s mouth as he lay on the ground.

Hartwell: 504-251-6670

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