Man fatally shot woman and baby and then tried to kill himself, Durham police say


A man fatally shot a woman and a baby and then tried to kill himself at a Durham home Friday morning, police said.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting shortly before 10 a.m. in the 3600 block of Suffolk Street in the Hopewood North neighborhood. The man who attempted suicide was taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to Durham police.

Police said they believe the incident was domestic.

Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis issued a statement Friday saying her department is working to address gun violence in the city.

“So far in 2019, officers from the Durham Police Department have responded to several shocking incidents involving senseless gun violence,” Davis said.

The deaths of the woman and baby mark the fifth and sixth homicides in Durham in the first 11 days of the year.

Three people were killed in two separate shootings on New Year’s Day.

Keith Antonio Wilson, 29, was fatally shot and a woman was critically injured by gunfire at an apartment complex off of U.S. 15-501 on Jan. 1.

Later that day, Murilio Zurito Domingo, 24, and Bertin Vasquez Mendoza, 26, were found dead from gunshot wounds in the 2000 block of House Avenue.

In the early-morning hours of Jan. 3, police found the body of a man in a car that had crashed into other vehicles at an apartment complex in the 4400 block of Hopson Road.

Police have not released any names in Friday’s shooting.

Vince Taylor, who helps manages the rental property where the shooting occurred, said three generations lived in the home: a mother and her husband, the mother’s daughter and a granddaughter.

The mother was in Jamaica on Friday, Taylor said. He said he didn’t know the man involved, and he didn’t believe he lived at the home.

“They are very close friends of mine,” Taylor said of the family, adding that the mother also works for him part time.

Taylor said the mother is trying to get back to Durham, and will need the community’s support when she gets home.

“I am not saying you can do anything here, but just the comfort of being around your loved ones and being in arm’s reach can help out a whole lot more.”

In her statement, Davis said Friday “was a very difficult day for me as chief of police.”

She said the department is working with local, state and federal partners to address gun violence.

“We are continuing our efforts to be more visible in the community to suppress such activity,” she said, “and we are aggressively seeking information regarding anyone involved in gun activity.”

Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.