Durham teen shot to death while trying to force his way into apartment, police say

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A teen was shot to death while trying to force his way into an apartment in Durham Monday morning, police said. The resident of the apartment was injured in the shooting.

Durham police responded to a report of a shooting at 12:42 a.m. in the 800 block of East Woodcroft Parkway at South Terrace at Auburn Apartments.

Jalen Thompson Johnson (Source: Twitter)
Jalen Thompson Johnson (Source: Twitter)

Police said that Jalen Thompson Johnson, 16, of Durham, was wearing a mask and was “apparently…attempting to force entry into an occupied apartment.”

Johnson and the man who lived in the home appeared to have exchanged gunfire, according to police. The man in the apartment was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

That man called 911. That call revealed frantic moments after the violence.

“I’ve been shot. Oh my God,” the caller said, and continued,”My girlfriend has been kidnapped.”

The caller told the operator he had been shot in the leg, saying “I shot the suspect when he tried to enter my house.”

“It was more than one person.” he said,”You’ve got to get somebody to hurry up and find my girlfriend. She is missing.”

Police tell CBS North Carolina there was no kidnapping; the girlfriend was later found outside. The caller is heard on the 911 call talking to officers on the scene. “Sir, I shot him. I did it.” the caller said, “He came, it was a home invasion, I thought he took my girlfriend.”

The teenager left dead after the gunfire, Jalen Johnson, was a student at Hillside High School in Durham. The school’s principal, Dr. William Logan, said Johnson was a “great kid” and called his death a “loss to our school.”

Word about Johnson’s death spread quickly via social media and the school worked quickly to provide a way for students to grieve.

“Counselors from our team are here to assist the students,” Logan said.

For many, first word of what happened to Johnson was on social media.

“I saw it on Instagram saying rest in peace,” said Jareen Shelton, who knew Johnson. “He was really cool, real funny guy. Cool to be around, you know?”

Broderick Garner, a resident who has lived at the apartment complex for about nine months, told CBS North Carolina his girlfriend lives in the unit right next to where the shooting took place. He said her roommate called police after hearing gunshots.

“Nothing really happens over here. It’s always quiet. This is a total surprise to me,” Garner said.

A teen was killed and a man was injured Monday morning (David Hurst/CBS North Carolina)

He said this is the first incident that has occurred there since he moved in.

No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J. Barr at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29325 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

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