Man shot a woman and himself in a domestic incident near Durham park, police say

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Police said Friday that a man shot a woman and then himself in a domestic incident in East Durham.

The pair suffered serious injuries after the Thursday evening shooting and are being treated at a local hospital, police spokesperson Kammie Michael said.

Police did not release the name of the man or woman or provide other details.

The incident happened in the parking lot of Long Meadow Park on Liberty Street, as youth baseball games were being played, WRAL and CBS17 reported. The park is near the intersection of North Alston Avenue and Holloway Street.

As of May 1, there had been 238 shooting incidents reported in Durham and a total of 78 people shot, according to police statistics. That was slightly more than the 73 people shot by the same time last year.

Fourteen people shot this year in Durham have died; 64 have survived.

Violent crime down in 1st quarter

Thursday’s shooting happened just hours after Police Chief C.J Davis presented her final crime report, covering the first quarter of the year. The chief is leaving Durham to become the director of police in Memphis, Tennessee.

Al told, violent crime in Durham was down 8% through March 31, compared to the first quarter of 2020. Violent crime covers homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.

There were seven homicides in the first quarter, but since then another eight people have been killed, for a total of 15 homicides as of May 1. Fourteen of the 15 people killed were shot, according to police statistics.

That is twice as many people fatally shot in Durham this year, compared to the same time last year.

In all of 2020, a total of 318 people were shot, 33 of them fatally, The News & Observer has reported.

Police staffing levels

The Durham Police Department is operating at 88% of full staffing among its sworn officers, Davis told the council. It currently has 489 officers out of 556 authorized positions.

The department routinely loses 55 to 60 officers each year, but the past year has been more difficult because of reduced recruiting during the COVID-19 epidemic, Davis said. The current vacancies are the most the department has had in the five years she’s been in Durham, she said.

City Council member Mark-Anthony Middleton, who has supported hiring more police, asked the chief if the community should be concerned.

“I haven’t panicked about staffing levels,” Davis said, noting a similar vacancy rate among non-sworn employees. “We don’t have a mass exodus in the Durham Police Department right now. ... The problem is this lull in recruitment.”

“We’re not really in the kind of hole that’s impossible to dig out of,” Davis said.

The department needs 62 officers working every shift, she said. Right now it has 45 to 50 per shift and is supplementing that by paying other officers to work overtime, she said.

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