Trial begins in North Carolina in killing of Gateway High football player

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The trial for a Texas man accused of shooting two Gateway High School football players, one fatally, in North Carolina in 2011 has begun.

Gabriel James Gamez of San Antonio is charged with first-degree murder in the June 23 shooting in a Durham parking lot that killed Darrell Turner Jr., 18, and left Thomas Woodson, who was 15 at the time, with a gunshot wound to the leg.

A jury was impaneled Monday in Durham, N.C., for the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. The prosecution called its first witnesses Tuesday.

Mr. Gamez was also indicted in August 2011 on additional charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill Thomas and four other players.

The teens, part of a group visiting Duke University and the University of North Carolina on the way to a football camp in Florida, were returning from dinner at a restaurant when they encountered Mr. Gamez in a parking lot, Durham County Assistant District Attorney Theresa Pressley said in 2011.

She said Mr. Gamez, who was in North Carolina for a family funeral, was offended because the players were eating peanuts and dropping the shells on the ground as they walked.

Ms. Pressley said Mr. Gamez approached the teens, pulled a pistol and fired as they all ran away.

Attorneys for Mr. Gamez have suggested he acted in self-defense, according to local news reports.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.


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