Family of Durham woman shot to death says ‘everyone loved her’


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The family of a Durham woman who was shot to death early Monday morning said they are clueless as to why someone would kill their loved one.

Erika Downey (Photo courtesy of family)
Erika Downey (Photo courtesy of family)

Erika Desiree Downey, 25, of Durham was killed in a early Monday morning shooting at Lynnhaven Apartments, police said.

Downey’s parents, Wanda and Larry, said they are wondering what provoked someone to shoot and kill her.

“I received a phone call from her girlfriend, screaming and crying telling me that Erika had been shot and that she didn’t think she was breathing,” Wanda Downey said. “One of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.”

RELATED: Woman found shot to death at Durham apartment complex

The Downeys said everyone loved Erika.

“Just her appearance, the way she talked to people, the way she treated people, she would go out of her way to do anything for you,” Larry Downey said.

Todra Thornton, 24, who was also injured in the shooting, said Downey dated the man who killed her.

“I couldn’t believe it. At first I just kept screaming out, ‘Is she breathing? Is she breathing? Is she breathing?’ And she kept saying, ‘I don’t think so. I don’t think so,'” Wanda Downey said of her conversation with Thorton.

Monday, police released the 911 call they responded to.

“Please hurry,” says the frantic caller. “It’s my friend is like, really, she is dying. I think she’s bleeding, she’s bleeding really bad. Please. She got shot. … Please hurry. And I think I’ve been shot in the face.”

Officers found Downey dead at the scene then they arrived.

“When they said that, I felt like the bottom of my stomach had just fell out. I couldn’t believe it. I just felt like this can’t be happening. I said if I’m dreaming or if I’m having a nightmare, wake me up. I called on my God, I said help me get through this,” Wanda Downey said.

Early Monday evening, Durham police said Larico Fonyte Dunn, 24, had been arrested in connection with the murder.

Dunn was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate-85 in Granville County, officials said.

“I never would’ve thought it would’ve been somebody that supposedly cared about her. This was supposed to had been someone she had dated and cared about,” Wanda Downey said.

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