Singer hit in neck by stray bullet during Durham shootout has long road to recovery ahead

North Carolina

DURHAM, NC — A Durham woman who has worked as a backup singer for famous artists remains hospitalized after she was struck by a stray bullet in the neck while watching television at her apartment in south Durham in April.

The woman, who is only being referred to as “Grace” by her family, was shot at Lakemoor Apartments on Avon Lake Drive when a shootout occurred around 10 p.m. on April 26.

As CBS 17 previously reported, two groups of people started shooting at each other in the parking lot of the apartment complex that night.

Multiple bullets flew into different apartment units and cars during the shoot out that witnesses said lasted for a couple of minutes.

One person was shot and killed. Two others were injured, including Grace.

“All of a sudden we heard, ‘pop, pop, pop, pop,'” said Grace’s brother, who wants to be referred to as Jay.

Jay said he was sitting in the living room in the apartment when a bullet flew into the apartment.

He went to check on his other family members in the back of the apartment, and that’s when he discovered Grace was shot.

Jay said he did what he could to stop the bleeding.

“I went into the bathroom, got wet towels and applied pressure,” Jay said. “I just tried to keep her with us. I said ‘listen, stay with us, don’t leave.'”

While Jay did what he could to help his sister, the shooting continued outside, and his family took cover until the shooting stopped.

“Everything happened so fast, you just had to move to try to stay alive,” Jay said.

Grace had been shot in her arm, and the bullet went into her neck and was lodged in her trachea.

Doctors just removed the bullet on Friday of last week.

“She can talk, however not without discomfort,” Jay said. “I don’t know if she’s on solid foods yet.”

Jay said Grace will have to go to rehab for at least six months to regain the use of her arm.

Grace has worked with famous artists such as Mary J. Blige and performed back up for R & B music groups during the 80s and 90s.

“She’s an immensely talented individual, who loves the craft,” Jay said. “What she’ll be able to do musically after this, we’ll see.”

Grace’s family is raising money to pay for her hospital bills and they are calling on something to be done about the recent shootings.

“Just a dispute between two rival groups could’ve easily taken out an entire family of five just like that,” Jay said. “Whatever the leadership can do in Durham, I certainly hope they get to it, and I hope they get to it fast.”

If you would like to make a donation to Grace’s family, go to the GoFundMe page.

So far this year in Durham there have been 238 shooting incidents, 78 people have been shot and 14 of those victims have died.

Eighty-five percent of the shooting incidents this year remain unsolved.

CBS 17 reached out to find out if any arrests had been made in the shooting incident, but we’re still waiting to hear back.

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