Terribly sad story involving football players from Gateway High School.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — High school football players from Pennsylvania likely exchanged words in a Durham parking lot with a stranger who then opened fire, killing one and injuring the other, police said Friday.
Gabriel James Gamez, 22, of San Antonio, is charged with murder and assault in the Thursday night shootings. Darrell Turner, 18, was killed, and his teammate, Thomas Woodson, 15, was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and released from a hospital, Chief Jose Lopez said.
“I think this is just a chance encounter between the youth going back to their hotel and the suspect going back to his hotel,” Lopez told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “When they encountered each other, there was some sort of verbal exchange. ... The suspect drew a firearm and started firing at them.”
The players were students at Gateway High School in Monroeville, where Turner was a rising senior who played linebacker and Woodson, a rising junior, was a quarterback.
Darrell Turner, the victim’s father, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his son was with several other Gateway football players visiting Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Detectives told him that his son and the other football players were leaving a restaurant when the suspect, apparently threatened by the group of athletes, opened fire, he said.
“It’s just senseless,” Turner said. “It didn’t have to happen.”
He said the group planned to continue to Florida State University after the stops in North Carolina.
“He had a big heart,” Turner said. “He loved his family and football was his passion.”
The players had eaten at Five Guys, while Gamez had been at Outback. They were returning to different hotels when they ran into each other in the parking lot, Lopez said. Police found Gamez, and the weapon they believe he used, after talking with his family members, Lopez said. Gamez was in town for a funeral.
Gamez is being held in the Durham County Jail without bond, and it’s not clear if he has an attorney.
Authorities said Gamez has a July 19 hearing in Bexar County, Texas, for a misdemeanor theft charge.