25 April 2022
Durham, N.C. — The Durham Police Department confirmed Monday that a shooting last week on U.S. Highway 15/501 was a road rage incident.
Police are still trying to find the person accused of shooting a man on April 21. It caused hours-long traffic delays on southbound U.S. Highway 15/501.
WRAL News spoke with the shooting victim’s friend, Matt Wagner, on Monday. Wagner has set up a GoFundMe page for Chris Stinnett. The two men have have known each other for 35 years having grown up together in Durham.
Wagner said Stinnett, 47, was hit one time in the back and remains at Duke University Hospital with serious injuries.
The GoFundMe page for Stinnett said he remains in the hospital “with a bullet remaining in his back and a long road of recovery ahead of him.” The page states Stinnett does not have health insurance to cover the emergency room costs, time spent in the surgical intensive care unit and upcoming physical therapy appointments.
“In my 20s, he saved my life,” Wagner said of Stinnett. “I was struggling through my own addiction issues. He got me out of it. He gave me a place to stay, gave me a job, helped me get on my feet.”
As of Monday afternoon, the page has raised $13,889 out of a $25,000 goal for Stinnett.
“[He’s] able to stand up, but not able to walk yet,” Wagner said of his friend. “They are very optimistic that he will be able to walk. He is able to wiggle his toes and move his legs a little bit.”
Wagner said Stinnett was driving when he noticed a driver weaving in and out of traffic. Stinnett hit his brakes, which is what Wagner believes aggravated the driver, who then fired shots through the back passenger window of Stinnett’s car. One bullet went through the seat and hit Stinnett in the back, according to Wagner.
“Half an inch to the left or right and he’s at least paralyzed, if not dead,” Wagner said of the bullet that hit Stinnett.
Stinnett is well known in the Durham community as the former owner of both Pop’s Backdoor Restaurant and the Parisian-style neighborhood restaurant Rue Cler. He sold both businesses, and is currently the general manager of Rise Southern Biscuits at 6325 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.
“He’s a tough, strong guy,” Wagner said of Stinnett. “He’s always been the protector and now he is laid up in a hospital.”
On April 21, Durham police said the gunman fired shots from his car and drove away from the scene. Police have not released any vehicle descriptions as of Monday afternoon.
Investigators are looking for any potential video evidence from the shooting.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police at 919-560-4440 extension 29391 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.
Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers do not have to identify themselves.