DURHAM — Two teenagers were found shot and seriously injured at a vacant house east of downtown Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
Officers responded to a call at about 1:30 p.m. and found the young men at a vacant house on Grace Lane, said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.
Minnie McNeil, a Grace Street resident, said she was approaching the block on a county disability transit vehicle when a boy came running from a home and pounded on the vehicle’s door. McNeil could not hear his conversation with the driver, but the driver told her that the boy had been shot, she said.
Both victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Felicia Harper, who lives nearby on Grace Lane, said she’d seen about eight boys congregating near the house on Saturday night and a couple boys on Monday night. The house has been empty for about a year, along with several others in the 11-house neighborhood.
Harper, 49, came home from work Tuesday afternoon to find police cars and officers surrounding a blue house on one end of the short street.
“About the whole police force,” said Harper, who has lived on Grace Lane for 10 years. She said crime has been rare in the area.
By 4 p.m. Tuesday, about 20 police vehicles were on the scene. Chief Jose Lopez arrived around 3:45 p.m., and investigators searched several vacant homes in the hours after the shooting.
For more than an hour, police blocked off two blocks of Liberty Street and a block of Grace Lane, a two-block private street through a rental development of single-family houses called “Elizabeth Square” owned, according to Durham County property records, by Joseph and Valinda Hicks of Guess Road in Durham.
At 4:15 p.m., police re-opened most of the area but left crime scene tape around the house at 4 Grace Lane.
The location is three blocks east of the main Durham Public Library, across Liberty Street from the Durham Housing Authority’s Liberty Street apartment complex.
Staff writer Jim Wise contributed to this report.
Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC