Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Thursday they have “very few” leads in the death of a 14-year-old boy gunned down as he returned from a birthday celebration at a Charlotte restaurant.
Anthony Frazier, son of a Kannapolis police officer, was shot Monday night while in a vehicle on Finchley Drive in northeast Charlotte, and died from his injuries the next day. Frazier was headed home from celebrating his birthday with family members when he was shot, CMPD Capt. Cecil Brisbon said.
In a press conference at CMPD headquarters, Anthony’s uncle said the teen excelled at school both scholastically and in sports.
It’s somebody just acting impulsively, doing something that shattered an entire family.
The uncle of murder victim Anthony Frazier
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“Anthony was the kid that did everything a kid is supposed to do,” said the uncle, who declined to give his name. “He was an excellent student, he excelled at sports... he was a leader. When he wasn’t doing that, he was at home playing PS4 (video games) with his father.
“He was a 14-year-old kid, out celebrating his birthday, just came back from dinner,” Anthony’s uncle said. “What’s the motive for that? It’s criminals, it’s fear. It’s somebody just acting impulsively, doing something that shattered an entire family.”
Anthony had turned 14 the day before Christmas.
His parents “are devastated beyond words,” the uncle said. Anthony’s 10-year-old sister doesn’t know how she’ll sleep after the death of her brother, the uncle said. Anthony’s parents and sister attended the press conference but did not speak to reporters.
“If there’s any bright spot, he was an organ donor, and we learned that because of what he’s given, he may have saved several other family members from experiencing the same loss we’re experiencing today,” Anthony’s uncle said.
It was unclear whether Anthony was the target or what led up to the killing.
“It’s very hard to think what the motive would be to take the life of a 14-year-old,” Brisbon said. “Quite frankly, I’m speechless.”
Anthony was the son of Officer Daniel Frazier, who has been with the Kannapolis department for about 1 1/2 years.
On Thursday, Kannapolis police Chief Woody Chavis spoke of the distress that Daniel Frazier is under, and how the tight-knit department of about 100 people feels like it “lost a family member.” He has called the force “heartbroken” over what happened.
“I just hope and pray they can find out who did this,” Chavis said.
But the department has been buoyed by an outpouring of community support.
“Sometimes you watch the national news and you see all this anti-police stuff,” Chavis said. “We’re not experiencing that here, and that’s the thing that keeps everybody’s spirits up.”
Residents have been calling with support, dropping off food and making donations at the police station to help with funeral and other expenses. More than $1,000 has come in so far, Chavis said.
A GoFundMe page also has been set up for an “Anthony Frazier Memorial Fund,” and has raised more than $7,100 by Thursday afternoon. Anthony was on the basketball, football and track teams at Kannapolis Middle.
I’m pleading, I’m begging to please help this family.
CMPD Capt. Cecil Brisbon
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Rewards of up to $15,000 are being offered through Crime Stoppers. Callers can remain anonymous on the tip line, 704-334-1600. People also may call police at 704-432-8477.
“We know somebody saw individuals in the area, and we need information from them,” Brisbon said. “We’ve gotten some information, but we need more. I’m pleading, I’m begging, I’m asking to please help this family.”
Two men in their teens to early 20s are suspected of being involved in the shooting, which happened in Eastwood Acres, a 70-year-old neighborhood of modest one-story homes near Garinger High. The only description police have of the men is that they wore dark hoodies, Brisbon said.
“Suspicious individuals” were in the neighborhood when Anthony and a relative pulled into the relative’s driveway, Brisbon said. Suddenly “a shot rang out, and that shot struck” Anthony, he said.
“Our hearts go out to this family, and to this young man’s friends,” said Diane Garris, president of the Eastwood Acres Community Association. “We want to let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Staff writer Ames Alexander contributed.