18-Year-Old Charged With Shooting 3 Younger Teens, 2 Fatally

An 18-year-old North Carolina man has been charged with the murders of two ninth-graders found dead in Durham this week.

Jorge Raul Benitez-Mendoza faces two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder for the shooting of a 16-year-old who survived, WNCN reported.

Officers were called late Tuesday for a report of the 16-year-old. That boy’s parents took him to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. He told detectives he thought two other victims had been shot.

The Durham Fire Department, using a drone, and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, using a cadaver dog, searched the area for several hours, finally locating two bodies at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday.  They were pronounced dead on the scene.

Durham Public Schools identified those victims as Angel Caneles Quintana, a Riverside High School freshman, and Osmar Burgos Banegas, who attended Lakeview School. Both boys were 16.

Durham police have said the shooting was not random but did not describe the relationship between Mendoza and the two slain victims. The family of Caneles, however, said all three were friends.

Mendoza later appeared in court and was denied bond.

The wounded teen was said to be in stable condition.

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[Featured image: Jorge Raul Benitez-Mendoza/Durham County Sheriff’s Office]