Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on Tuesday renewed their plea for the public’s help in solving what was a spasm of violence over Labor Day weekend that left five dead.
Among the victims was a 7-year-old boy at a birthday party. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department held a news conference asking for the public’s assistance near the Fieldvale Place house in southwest Charlotte where the boy, Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas, was fatally shot.
“The fact that five people were killed in one weekend shocks anybody’s conscience. It’s very disturbing,” Deputy Chief Doug Gallant said. Police said they could not recall another such rash of violence in recent memory.
We would just implore you, if you know something, say something.
CMPD Capt. Cecil Brisbon
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No arrests have been made in those cases. The dead were among 12 shot in Charlotte that weekend.
In the aftermath, CMPD focused on cracking down on violent crime across the city, including increasing patrols especially in neighborhoods where the shootings happened and other crime hot spots.
Police said they arrested 95 violent offenders and took 56 guns off the street, including one fully automatic assault rifle, since Labor Day weekend. Authorities are working to determine whether any of the suspects or weapons are tied to the slayings or other crimes.
“We’re using every resource available to solve these (Labor Day weekend) crimes, but we’re not there yet,” Capt. Cecil Brisbon said. “We need every little bit of information that may help.”
Crime Stoppers has received 15 tips, but so far they have not led to charges in the homicides.
Authorities acknowledged that some people may be scared or need more time to think about contacting police.
“Some people require a little longer for things to marinate in their conscience before they come forward,” Brisbon said. “We would just implore you, if you know something, say something.”
He said the violence was “ganglike behavior” but declined to say if any of the victims was in a gang.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said last week that police suspected retaliatory shooting between gangs was behind the violence. He said police believe many of the assailants are 18 to 24 years old, but the investigation has been hampered by uncooperative witnesses.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Charlotte Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com. There is a $10,000 reward in each of the homicide cases. People may also call CMPD at 704-432-8477 and ask to speak with a homicide detective.
There is an additional $5,000 reward for information in Kevin’s death from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Call ATF confidentially at 888-283-8477.
Solving the five killings remains a priority for CMPD.
“We’re not going to stop,” Gallant said, “until we bring a resolution to these cases.”
Just down the street from where he spoke, a makeshift memorial to 7-year-old Kevin still stood by the side of a tree, with balloons, flowers and a small teddy bear.
The other people killed that weekend were Laquanta Franchez Young, 30; James Taylor, 23; Dominique Wheeler, 25; and Elias Izagirre Perez, 30.
Police on Tuesday also praised the quick work of officers last weekend after a shooting Friday that left six people injured at the NC Music Factory complex. Three teens are facing charges in that incident.