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Killing in Indian Trail shocks friends, neighbors

By Elisabeth Arriero
earriero@charlotteobserver.com

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A 27-year-old Indian Trail man who friends and family described as “kind-hearted” and who was known for frequently riding his scooter around the neighborhood was shot to death late Saturday, and sheriff’s deputies were looking Sunday for the person who killed him.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call for service about 11:59 p.m. Saturday and, when deputies arrived at the home on West Street, they found Christopher Reid Brown lying in the front yard.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a release that investigators would not speculate on a motive but said they did not believe the shooting was a random crime.

Brown was at his home with several friends when a black car pulled up and sat outside for a while, the Sheriff’s Office said. At some point, Brown began to approach the car to confront the occupants, and several shots were fired from the car before it fled.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a release that several people who had been at the home fled the scene before they could be interviewed, but they were later found by detectives. They were initially uncooperative with investigators, the release states, but eventually consented to interviews.

Brown had a few friends at the house, which he shared with his mother, said neighbor Desiree Simmerson, 28.

“It’s hard to be out here right now looking at his house,” Simmerson said Sunday afternoon. “It just reminds me of looking out there and seeing him laying on the ground.”

The street is located off Indian Trail-Fairview Road. Sheriffs investigators and the district attorney’s office remained at the house early Sunday processing the crime scene.

But by noon Sunday, there were no signs of a fatal shooting. The short street with mostly one-story homes was quiet, with just one neighbor outside mowing her lawn.

Simmerson said she was watching television with her husband, Scottie, when they heard three gunshots.

They checked outside and saw Brown’s mother shouting, “Chris has been shot! Call the ambulance.”

After calling police, the Simmersons went to check on Brown, who was in and out of consciousness, Desiree Simmerson said.

One neighbor who is a nurse tried to perform CPR but was unable to because Brown was bleeding from his mouth, she said.

“It just doesn’t seem right. None of this makes sense,” Desiree Simmerson said. “He was such a nice, kind-hearted guy.”

Desiree Simmerson said she and her husband quickly made friends with Brown because they were close in age.

Her 6-year-old son also took an immediate liking to Brown, going out to watch him skateboard and ride his moped every afternoon.

“It was like clockwork,” Desiree Simmerson said.

Brown also enjoyed building skateboard ramps, said Scottie Simmerson, 28.

The Simmersons said they are still in shock. “He was a real nice kid,” Scottie Simmerson said. “This just hits a little too close to home.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.

WCNC-TV contributed.

Arriero: 704-804-2637; Twitter: @earriero
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