1 killed, 4 hurt in 4th shootings

A Friday night shooting death in the Hidden Valley neighborhood in northeast Charlotte marred a sharp decline in uptown Charlotte arrests from recent Fourth of July celebrations.

Calvin Eugene Thompson, 35, died at Carolinas Medical Center after being shot around 11 p.m. on Georgetown Drive. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on Saturday arrested William Daniel Thomas, 41, in connection with Thompson's death.

Four others on Friday night suffered non-life threatening injuries in Charlotte shootings on Central Avenue, Independence Boulevard and in the same incident on Georgetown Drive.

In Concord, two brothers wrestling over a shotgun Friday night accidentally discharged the gun and shot their mother in the abdomen. Concord Police Deputy Chief Guy Smith said no charges were filed. The mother underwent surgery after the shooting, and her injuries were not expected to be life-threatening, Smith said.

In uptown, police reported 42 arrests as of 2:30 a.m. Saturday, down from 143 arrests during last year's Fourth of July festivities. Police attributed the decline in arrests to a combination of increased police presence, better planning and rain that reduced crowd numbers from previous years.

This year, the city used elevated platforms and put hundreds of extra police officers on uptown streets to help control the thousands of people expected to flock to the city. On July 4, 2006, raucous celebrations led to several arrests as officers – some in riot gear – dealt with fights and people setting off firecrackers in crowded areas.

Police offered few details surrounding Thompson's death, other than witnesses interviewed by police said that an argument between Thompson and Thomas preceded the shooting.

The Hidden Valley neighborhood made news last year when federal and local authorities arrested 20 suspected members of the Hidden Valley Kings, a local gang reportedly started in the 1990s. It's unclear if the Friday night shooting was gang-related.

Thompson's death brings the number of homicides to 43 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg this year. In 2007, the number totaled 75 for the full year.

Local firefighters and 311 dispatchers also stayed busy during the holiday. With Charlotte-Mecklenburg police urging people to call 311 with noise complaints to help keep 911 lines open for emergencies, the call center took 454 calls between 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Charlotte Fire Department responded to 209 calls in a 12-hour period starting at 6 p.m. Friday, including 18 brush fires and 154 calls for emergency medical services.