Family hopes witnesses come forward in Charlotte man’s murder

Family and friends remember James Warren Price II

Family and friends host a two-year memorial service in hopes of solving the open murder investigation.
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Family and friends host a two-year memorial service in hopes of solving the open murder investigation.

Warren Price never intended to fight the men yelling insults at him in the parking lot of Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, his family says.

It was a hot evening in July 2013, and Price and his fiancee had gone to the concert venue to see Li’l Wayne and some other rappers. A group of men insulted his fiancee on the way through the concert’s gates, Price’s mother recounted Sunday.

They didn’t know the men, and Price and his fiancee hoped that was the end of it. But when the concert ended, as thousands streamed to their cars, the couple came across the group of men again in the parking lot.

They called Price “fat boy” and cursed at him, his mother, Elaine, said. “He tried to ignore them. He said he just wanted to go home.”

Then one of the men hit Price’s fiancee in the head, knocking her to the ground. Price rushed to defend her. During the ensuing fight, Price was stabbed once.

The knife went into his heart. He bled to death in the parking lot.

On Sunday, two years after Price’s death, his family and friends held a memorial service at Reedy Creek Park in northeast Charlotte. They spoke kind words, offered up prayers and showed a video about Price’s life. Most of all they hoped someone would come forward with details about the men who killed Price.

“They told me it was almost 2,000 people at the Li’l Wayne concert,” Elaine Price told the Observer. “It’s sad for someone to watch somebody murdered – to watch somebody’s life being taken from them – and for the nobody to step up.”

Elaine Price remembered her son as a linebacker for Independence High School who led his team in tackles, yet was always the first to crack a joke. She remembered her son’s shoe obsession and how he would camp outside a store for the latest pair of sneakers, then resell them out of his apartment. Even her birthday this week will be bittersweet, because it happens so close to the anniversary of her son’s death.

Detective James Hoppe, who attended the memorial service, said the investigation is ongoing. He believes there are people still out there who saw what happened, and he urged them to come forward.

“It’s such a large event,” he said. “I believe there are still witnesses outstanding.”

He also encouraged witnesses to come forward, even if they had only small details. “I’d rather get an insignificant tip than get no tip at all.”

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

How to help

Tipsters can call 704-432-8477 (TIPS) or call CMPD Detective James Hoppe directly at 704-353-0984.