DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham Police Department has confirmed one of the Hillside High School students shot on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham Wednesday afternoon has died at a nearby hospital tonight.
Police said in a release that two juvenile males had been shot shortly after 1 p.m. in the area of Fayetteville Street and Riddle Road. Both were transported to a nearby hospital, one with life-threatening injuries and the other with non-life-threatening injuries.
Riddle Road is closed from Fayetteville Street to Alfred Street as police investigate. The public is asked to avoid this area at this time.
Hillside High, Durham School of Technology and W.G. Pearson Elementary are no longer in a secure status, police said.
Maurice Stephens is a Hillside High School Sophomore. CBS 17 spoke to him before learning one of the teens died from their injuries.
“Honestly, I feel really bad for them I mean I do,” Stephens said. “I didn’t know them, I don’t think I did, but honestly like I see this stuff happen and it really does upset me like it really does.”
Durham police said a preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting did not happen on campus.
Kisha Flood is a dentist at an office next to the trail. She said she often sees students there. She’s also a mother of two children.
“It just really makes my heart very sad, I’m really emotional about it,” said Flood. “That’s why you know I’m tryna leave, you know just go and get my thoughts together, because it’s just heartbreaking for, you know, anyone to go through this in a community as nice as Durham,”
There will be increased law enforcement as well as support counselors at Hillside High School and Durham School of Technology, which share a campus.
The principals at the high schools released the following message as a robocall to families Wednesday prior to learning one of the students passed away, according to a Durham Public Schools spokesperson.
“Good afternoon, Hillside/Durham School of Technology families. This is Dr. Logan/Wright with an important message about what happened this afternoon. About a quarter of a mile away from our campus, two Hillside students were involved in a shooting. They are hospitalized, and they and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sharing this information for two reasons—to let you know why we were in secure status today, and to express my commitment to our students’ safety and wellbeing. Again, this incident happened away from campus. I thank you for your patience during today’s delayed dismissal, and for your support of our students. Please know as well that there will be an increased law enforcement presence at school tomorrow, and counselors will also be on hand if your child feels the need for such support.”
At this time, police have not released any information on an arrest or a suspect(s). This is an ongoing investigation and Durham police are asking anyone with information to contact them.