Why Was the J. T. Tire Robbery/Shooting in Durham, N.C. So Lightly Reported On?
By John Kays
Some facts in a robbery and shooting of at least four people at an East Durham used tire store (J. T. Tire at 2202 E. Geer St.) are clearing up, but other aspects of the troublesome incident yet remain without proper clarification. For example, we know that Naomi Turner Wright, 65, (a cashier) and Abdelgadir Mergany Abdelganir, 32, (a taxi driver) were shot to death by the robber, but who were the other two victims, who survived but were shot also by this 6 foot black man with a distinctive tattoo on the left side of his face?
Another loose end in news accounts is how much money did the robber (wearing a brightly colored T-shirt) get away with (when fleeing in a silver sedan)? We hear of some extensions to the shocking event (that were a little too brief in most news stories) with a piece posted by NBC 17 HD (2 dead, 3 injured in Durham tire store shooting, By Steve Sbraccia, Justin Quesinberry), where employees chased the robber in a store pick-up truck, apparently losing him in traffic.
Another item, that needs clarification, is the circumstances of what happened to store owner, John Turner, during the robbery gone bad (and the shooting that resulted from this). Right after the 3 PM Friday episode, John was seen holding his bloody head, and therefore people (on the scene) assumed he'd been shot also. It turns out he'd actually been pistolwhipped by this stranger to their pleasant neighborhood. It looks as if John had to duck from some flying bullets himself, and just barely got out alive.
I was able to cull together bits of pertinent background information (from several stories) on J.T. Tire, how it got started, and something about what a good man John Turner is. John is (said to be) a religious man who gives back to his community and provides jobs and a good service to those who can't afford to purchase brand new tires. That would have to include me, who last bought some new tires before Nine-Eleven. Don't know of any used-tire businesses around these parts (Austin)?
Appearances would have this to be a very friendly neighborhood with lots of tradition and we even hear this part of Durham has a low crime rate. This would suggest that the robber is a one off, a fluke to what otherwise can be seen as an upstanding community. Yet we don't know much about the motive of the robber, or whether he thought he'd get away with a much larger amount of money. I suspect this. I also suspect that the reason he started shooting, is he thought the Turners were holding out on him. He shot the cashier Naomi, even though she had willingly given him the money.
Naturally enough, we wonder about the identity of the (facially tattooed) robber (and killer)? We wonder whether he had spent a considerable amount of time casing J.T. Tire and whether he may have had some kind of inside knowledge of their operation. We know he's a cold-blooded killer, so we imagine he has a good amount of priors. Many eye-witnesses got a good gander at him, so it shouldn't be that hard to catch him.
Not to be too moralistic, but I'm a little disappointed this story didn't get much better coverage in the news. Here we have around 3,000 articles on Trayvon Martin (which is the premium story of our day), and this Durham robbery/murder of a friendly used-tire store only produces about a half-dozen substantial chronicles. Another oddity to this vacuum of coverage, is that, there may be a racial angle to this robbery gone south? Whispers of the racial angle speak to me, but I'm unwilling to listen. Are you the same way?
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