DURHAM: Woman shot to death in front of Durham church

Woman shot to death in front of Durham church

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Kourtney Krista Dawson, 25, was shot and killed Wednesday in Durham. Kourtney Krista Dawson, 25, was shot and killed Wednesday in Durham.
Durham police said Kourtney Krista Dawson was killed during a shooting night near the intersections of Holloway Street and Guthrie Avenue. Durham police said Kourtney Krista Dawson was killed during a shooting night near the intersections of Holloway Street and Guthrie Avenue.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Durham police say a woman with a history of prostitution was shot to death Wednesday near the intersections of Holloway Street and Guthrie Avenue.

Officers responded to a "shots fired" call around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, the found an adult female who had been shot in front of Antioch Baptist Church. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Durham Police said the woman who was killed was Kourtney Krista Dawson, 25, of Durham.

Neighbor Allen Jones said he heard the gunshots and a bullet even ricocheted off his fence.

"My son and his girlfriend hit the floor, and I laid down on the couch," Allen said Thursday. "This was the second Wednesday evening that gunshots rang after Bible study."

Durham County Commissioners Chairman and Antioch Baptist Church Pastor Michael Page said the neighborhood where the shooting occurred is no stranger to crime.

"We have a history in that community of drugs, violence, prostitution," Page said. "It's known, everybody knows it, but we have not -- as a community -- been able to get a grip on it."

Page said his church has become of drop-off point of sorts for prostitutes. The Durham County Sheriff's Office said Dawson had been arrested four times for prostitution between June and November 2013.

"I've stood in the door and watched it. It's really, really sad," Page said. "Prostitutes dropped off right there at the church or picked up right there in front of the church."

Dawson's shooting was second murder Wednesday in Durham. Seventeen-year-old Treyvon Evans was charged with stabbing his grandmother to death and injuring a 4-year-old early that morning.

"We're missing the mark in terms of how do we really reduce this crime in our community," Page said. "I'm equally concerned not just as a pastor but as an elected official that we have to do something really to address what happened last night but really throughout the city."

Investigators are still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding Dawson's shooting. No charges have been filed at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J. Barr at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29325 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

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