DURHAM, N.C. -- Teammates of two Gateway High School football players shot in Durham, N.C., one of them fatally, took the stand Wednesday in the trial of the man accused of pulling the trigger.
Witnesses testified that Gabriel J. Gamez opened fire on a group of Gateway players June 23, 2011, after the Texas man accused the teens of throwing something -- possibly peanut shells -- at him in a parking lot,
Darrell Turner, 18, was killed. Thomas Woodson, then 15, survived his wounds.
The players were passing through Durham on a trip from Monroeville to a football camp in Florida, when Mr. Gamez, visiting the Durham area for a funeral, shot them, police say.
Players testified that before Mr. Gamez fired at them, he passed them in the parking lot as they were walking back to their hotel, eating peanuts.
"All of a sudden, he became frantic and loud," Isaiah Thomas Faulk told the jury.
The man accused the players of throwing something at him.
In testimony Tuesday, Robert Lee Foster quoted Mr. Gamez as saying: "Which one of you [expletive] threw something at me?" and said the San Antonio man "just kept asking us. ... After a while, we just started arguing."
Prosecutors introduced photos of peanuts and peanut shells on the sidewalk into evidence, as well as a cup that Darrell was said to have thrown on the ground after the man allegedly yelled racial slurs at the group.
Mr. Gamez maintains he shot the two players in self-defense.
Photos of the shooting scene exhibited Wednesday showed a blood trail across the parking lot, spilled after the Monroeville teens were shot with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson Winchester handgun.
Crime scene investigator Lindsey Kincaid also described a video taken of the car Mr. Gamez was driving that night, in which investigators found a fully loaded .40-caliber magazine, holster and handcuffs.
Another of the Gateway group, Dustin Shane Creel, testified Tuesday. Six members of the Gateway team have traveled to Durham to be called as witnesses.
Robert Foster said that after Mr. Gamez pulled a gun, he started running and was back at the hotel to tell his coach about it before he knew anyone had been shot. He heard the gunshots, he said.
He testified that when he saw the gun, he "kinda froze," then he "felt a hand grab me, which kinda told me to start running."
Isaiah said he went back to Darrell after seeing he was on the ground.
"I heard a yell," he said. "It was my buddy, Thomas Woodson," who had been shot in the leg.
The players testified they were confused by Mr. Gamez accusing them of throwing something at him. They testified that Darrell threw down a cup after the confrontation began.
First Published April 25, 2013 4:00 AM