Two men kicked in the door of an east Charlotte home Wednesday morning and gunned down a man as his mother and children cowered in nearby bedrooms, police and family members said.
Investigators identified the victim as Michael Angelo Crawford, 44. The home invasion and shooting happened around 3 a.m. at his mother’s house on Rupert Lane, near where Milton Road intersects the Plaza.
Crawford’s sister, Tonia, said her brother and two of his children had been staying at their 75-year-old mother’s home – the elder woman felt safer when her youngest son was there. Crawford’s nephew and another woman were also at the house.
Around 3 a.m., two men wearing gloves and armed with guns kicked in the door, Tonia Crawford said. Several family members were awakened by the sound of the door frame breaking, including Mike Crawford, who came to the top of a short stairwell.
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“They came in demanding money,” Tonia Crawford said. She wasn’t there, but family members who listened as they hid behind beds and other furniture told her what happened shortly after the shooting. “They were saying, ‘Where’s the money, we know you got money?’ The whole time my brother wasn’t saying anything.”
Investigators have said there was some type of altercation before the shooting but didn’t provide details Wednesday.
After the shots were fired, family members called 911 and tried to resuscitate Mike Crawford, but he was pronounced dead on the stairs, his sister said. As she spoke from her mother’s couch Wednesday afternoon, two men drilled holes and hammered nearby, trying to replace the broken door and frame.
Mike Crawford was a Charlotte native who graduated from East Mecklenburg High. He was a father of three children.
Police did not release a description of the suspects but said detectives were canvassing the neighborhood to see if there were any other witnesses.
Detectives told reporters Wednesday morning that they are trying to determine whether the suspects knew the victims.
Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-8477 (TIPS) to speak directly to a homicide detective. You also can contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or charlottecrimestoppers.com.