Durham County

Durham police exchange gunfire with 2 men

Police say one of their officers exchanged gunfire with two men Thursday night in a residential neighborhood on the south side of the city.

The officer, J.T. West, was not hit, but it’s not clear about the men, who fled. Police have notified hospitals to keep an eye out for them.

The shooting took place at Lakeland and Truman streets around 10 p.m. Police say West was getting out of his marked patrol car to speak to two men who were approaching from behind when one of the men pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired six shots at him.

One bullet struck the driver’s side door of the police car. West returned fire, taking two shots as he ran for cover at an abandoned apartment building across the street, police said.

West and the men did not say anything to each other, police said. The men ran south on Lakeland Street, and a police dog later lost their scent on South Alston Avenue, police said.

Police do not have detailed descriptions of the men. They say the man who fired the gun was black, 18 to 25 years old, about 6 feet tall with a skinny build and was wearing an oversized black hoodie. They say the second man was black, 18 to 25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 200 pounds and was wearing a light-colored jacket.

Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to call Investigator G. Silla at 919-560-4415, ext. 29310, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.