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Police account of fatal apartment shooting disputed by victim's family

Police say victim was shot trying to force his way into an apartment

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

The family of a man killed during a scuffle at a northwest Charlotte apartment disputes the police account of what happened before the Sunday morning shooting.

De’von Anttone Noel was shot in the chest around 3 a.m. at the Alta Grove Apartments on Season Grove Lane near Brookshire Boulevard.

Police say he tried to force his way into a second-floor apartment. Another man, who hasn’t been identified by police, lives there and had a female guest. Police say the men struggled and Noel was shot.

But based on conversations she said she had with witnesses, a family member said Noel had been called to the home earlier in the night by the female guest – his ex-girlfriend – and that he did not force his way into the apartment on the morning he was killed.

“They had been having problems for the last couple years, said Michelle Edwards, Noel’s aunt. “And they had decided to go their separate ways.”

Police say all the people inside the apartment during the shooting knew each other but would not comment on Edwards’ claim.

The shooter and woman cooperated and were interviewed by homicide detectives. The police investigation continues, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokesman said.

The man who lived in the apartment has not been arrested.

He did not return a phone message seeking comment on Monday.

Edwards described her nephew as a doting father of a 10-year-old girl. He had just gotten a new job and an apartment.

“He was a wonderful person,” she said “He was a great father, and he would do anything for anybody in the family.”

Edwards said Noel’s family members were waiting for more information from police, including the results of a search of his cellphone records.

According to a criminal records check conducted by the Observer, Noel had been twice charged with assault, but never convicted. In one 2007 instance, a police report says, he broke into a house, fired a round into the ceiling and assaulted three people inside.

Police reports show an acrimonious relationship with the mother of his child that occasionally involved the police.

He was once charged, but not convicted, of communicating threats to the mother of his child, saying he would “shoot up her house if she did not give him their daughter,” according to a police report. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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