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Durham man speaks out after wife gunned down

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Harold Wright Jr., 64, is trying to pick up the pieces after his wife, Naomi Turner Wright, 65, was shot and killed at JT Tire shop in Durham. Harold Wright Jr., 64, is trying to pick up the pieces after his wife, Naomi Turner Wright, 65, was shot and killed at JT Tire shop in Durham.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A Durham man is speaking out a year after his wife was gunned down at the tire store where she worked to support her family.

Harold Wright Jr., 64, is trying to pick up the pieces after his wife, Naomi Turner Wright, 65, was shot and killed at JT Tire shop in Durham.

"You don't spend 45 years with someone and forget about them overnight. She was my life. When than bullet struck her heart it struck mine too," Wright said.

Harold says he met the love of his life and future wife when he was just 16 years old. Naomi and Harold, both Durham natives, were married for 34 years.

"We were poor, but happy," Wright said.

"If you've got someone you really love, then hug and kiss them every day, love them because they may not come home."

Naomi had been working at the tire store for a few weeks when Obrien McNeil White, 25, allegedly shot Naomi in the chest during a March 23, 2012, robbery. White is also accused of shooting and killing a tire shop customer, 32-year-old Abdelgadir Mergany Abdelganir.

"She went down there to JT Tire to work for just $8 an hour so we could buy some food for us to eat. That was it. And she got murdered," Wright said.

Inside the Wright's home, Naomi's things remain untouched. A grocery list that she wrote more than a year ago still sits on the table.

Meanwhile, medical bills are piling up and Harold's long list of health problems prevents him from working.

"I can't get my driver's license because I can't see. I'm diabetic, I've got high blood pressure, I've had three heart attacks, got six stints, I had a liver transplant five years ago -- it was a non-alcoholic transplant."

Harold describes Naomi as a devout Christian, loving mother, wife and caregiver.

"She looked after me. She took care of my health problems, took care of all my medicines, my doctor's appointments."

Harold currently lives off of a $700 per month disability check. His daughter, who also lives with him, has been in and out of the hospital and was recently laid off from her job.

"I'm not a beggar. It has just gotten to the place where we need help," Wright said.

Harold says he realizes he is not the only person struggling in tough times.

"Until you've been in it, you don't know what it is like to sit here and miss her so much and then worry how are you going to pay the water bill, the light bill? How are you going to keep everything from being cut off? What are you going to do for your next meal? Where's the food coming from?

"It's like a horror story to lose someone you love so much like that and then have to go through all this."

White remains in the Durham County jail awaiting his next court date in August.

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

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