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Arrests Made In 1 Of 2 Shootings Near Freedom Drive

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings speaks at a community conversation event Wednesday evening meant to encourage discussion about two shootings one day earlier.
Sarah Delia
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings speaks to reporters at a community conversation gathering Wednesday evening.

Updated 9:10 p.m.

Two people were arrested Wednesday for involvement in one of two shootings a day earlier near Freedom Drive that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said were connected. Three minors went to the hospital with injuries from the shooting, including a 7-year-old girl.

The arrests were in the case involving the 7-year-old, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said.

Alvin Steele, 20, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, among other charges. A 23-year-old man was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A third person was in Steele's car at the time of his traffic stop and arrest, and he was charged with unrelated possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jennings said the news that a 7-year-old had been shot was particularly difficult.

"She’s in good spirits so that makes me happy," he said. "But at the same time, the frustration that she shouldn’t be put in that situation in the first place. So yeah, when I see that come across my phone or when I get that phone call and we have a small child involved, that’s one of the things that’s hardest things to deal with as a police chief."

The first shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon on Hovis Road. CMPD says two teenagers outside of a convenience store were shot by someone in a car.

Hours later, about a mile away on Marble Street, a 7-year-old girl was hit by gunfire when suspects were shooting at each other in anapartment complex parking lot.

All three shooting victims are in stable condition.

Police believe the shootings are connected based on the close proximity of the incidents and evidence found that links them together — but wouldn’t go into detail as to what that evidence is. CMPD has identified "persons of interest" , but no arrests have been made.

CMPD Maj. Brian Foley said police need more witnesses to come forward with what they saw.

"I was there and I can tell you I saw a lot of community members out in their driveways on the street, looking. I know there are people in that community who know what happened and know who did it," Foley said. "Yet they do not come forward to talk to police and provide us any information to help us. CMPD cannot do this job alone. We’ve got to have help."

Anyone with information can contact police by calling 911, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 704 334-1600.

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.