Tips from the community led to the arrests of two teenagers in connection with the apparently random January shooting death of 14-year-old Anthony Frazier, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said Wednesday.
“We would not be here today if it were not for the community,” CMPD Major Cam Selvey said at the news conference at police headquarters on Wednesday afternoon. “… The community members did the right thing and stepped forward and brought us crucial information.”
The son of a Kannapolis police officer, Anthony was visiting family when he was shot the night of Jan 2 in the 2200 block of Finchley Drive, near Eastway Drive in northeast Charlotte. He died the next day.
Anthony and family members were returning from a birthday celebration in the city when he was shot in a vehicle. He had turned 14 the day before Christmas.
Police on Wednesday announced the arrests of Mangasha Dion Clark, 19, and Reginald Lee Edmonds, 17.
Police have no evidence Anthony knew Clark and Edmonds, Selvey said. “There was no evidence of any sort of relationship, so that did make the job more difficult and why the input from the community was so critical.”
Edmonds was arrested without incident on Tuesday night, interviewed and charged with accessory after the fact to murder, Selvey said. Clark was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder.
As to whether Clark and Edmonds knew somebody had been shot before they ran from the scene that night, “I don’t know what they knew at the time,” Selvey said. “I think it’s unreasonable to believe that as time went on, and by that I mean the next day, unless they were living under a rock, they should have known their action resulted in a death.”
Selvey declined to say whether police have retrieved the gun used to kill Anthony.
Of Edmonds’ arrest on the accessory charge, Selvey said only that “there was knowledge after the fact. If I had knowledge after the fact of someone committing a homicide, I’m going to call police and I’m going to tell somebody, and I’m not going to help them.”
In announcing the arrests, Selvey said: “Anybody that has a child can imagine how painful this was to lose a 14-year-old in our community. It bothered me greatly personally, and that’s why I can take such great pleasure in announcing these arrests.
“Because while it’s not going to do anything to ease the pain that his family feels moving forward, I hope in some way it provides them with some ability to move forward and some closure to this part, so they can better manage the grieving process.”
“We’re extremely grateful,” Anthony’s father, Officer Daniel Frazier, told Observer news partner WBTV after the arrests. “We appreciate the good people out there that cared ... All the countless people that took time out of their own life to help.”
Mario Black, founder of the Million Youth March of Charlotte organization, said he was happy to learn of the arrests.
“As a community, we have prayed daily that the suspects would be captured,” Black said in a statement late Wednesday. “We never wavered in our faith and trusted God. This now allows his family to fully have closure and to see that the proper justice is served to those that committed this senseless act that forever changed his family and his friends lives.”
Clark already faced unrelated charges of felony larceny after breaking and entering and felony second-degree burglary in a Jan. 31 incident, court records show.
Edmonds faced charges from incidents on Nov. 26, Dec. 25 and Jan. 5, including burglary, assault, larceny and breaking and entering a vehicle, records show.