Road rage led to fatal shooting at Durham gas station, police say

Atom Cameron
Atom Cameron

Colby Lucas exchanged words with the wrong guy after a near collision at a Durham gas station in September, and it cost him his life, according to court documents.

Durham police responded to a call about a gunshot wound about 2:20 p.m. Sept. 25 at a Circle K gas station and convenience store on N.C. 54. Lucas, 29, was found shot inside the store, where he died.

Atom Devine Cameron, 20, has been charged with murder. Cameron’s attorney, Ralph Frasier Jr., couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

In recently released search warrants, a Durham investigator says he believed the killing followed a near collision with Cameron, who had history with an “apparent road rage incident.”

The warrants, which sought access to Cameron’s Facebook and Instagram pages and other items, also include information about social media references to gangs, guns and threats of violence.

Cameron told police he was about to pull away from the gas station pump on Sept. 25 when Lucas pulled into the parking lot at a high rate of speed, causing him to stop suddenly.

“Cameron stated that he and Lucas looked at each other and threw their hands up in the air,” the warrant says.

As Cameron pulled out of the parking lot, he heard Lucas yell something, he told police. Cameron backed his truck up, got out and stood by his driver’s side door. He told police he had a gun in his right hand, hidden inside the car.

“Because he felt an altercation may occur,” the warrant says.

Investigator D.L. Cramer wrote that he believed Cameron and Lucas exchanged words, and Lucas hit Cameron.

Cameron pushed Lucas and then shot him, Cramer wrote.

“During the interview Cameron never states that he is in fear for his life,” the warrant says. Fear of imminent death or great bodily harm is a key part of the state’s self-defense law.

Cameron was previously arrested in Cornelius in Mecklenburg County in November 2017 after “an apparent road rage incident,” according to court documents.

A woman told police she was driving and Cameron was following her close. The woman attempted to pass a truck pulled to the side of the road, and Cameron tried to pass her.

Once she passed the truck, she told police, she heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot.

“She looked into the rearview mirror and observed Cameron pointing the (AR-15) rifle outside of the driver side window and into the air,” the warrant says.

Cameron was charged with going armed to the terror of the public, which was dismissed in May.

He faces charges in Person County of discharging a weapon into occupied property and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or do serious bodily harm.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges
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Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.