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A Charlotte father was killed by a stray bullet from a nearby gunfight, police say

Police in Charlotte say a well-known real estate agent and father was killed early Saturday when he was struck by a bullet from a nearby gunfight.

James Freiberg, 48, known as Jimmy, was shot just after 3 a.m. Saturday in his apartment in the 10000 block of Hillgrove Lane, near Steele Creek Road in the southwestern part of the city. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the bullet that struck Freiberg came from “a large shootout in the parking lot” between “two groups of people unrelated to Mr. Freiberg.”

He died at the scene.

Freiberg’s wife, Vanessa, said on Facebook that the family woke up to gunfire and that the bullet that killed her husband entered through a child's bedroom window.

“He died doing what he would have done for anyone he loved and that was protecting us,” Vanessa Freiberg wrote.

Freiberg was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who worked as a real estate agent at McNulty Realty and as a sports card expert at AAA Collectibles Inc., according to his Facebook profile.

“He is greatly missed and will forever be in our hearts and on our minds,” McNulty Realty posted. “We love you Jimmy!”

A GoFundMe account was set up for the Freiberg family.

Charlotte has seen several high-profile incidents of people injured or killed by stray gunfire. In 2019, a 27-year-old mother named Kendal Crank was killed as she was caught in crossfire while driving, and a few months later, 74-year-old John Holaday was fatally struck by a stray bullet as he was walking through uptown.

Last year, there were hundreds of cases of people shooting into occupied properties, such as homes and cars. In September, a 3-year-old named Asiah Figueroa was killed and his sister wounded when shots were fired into his home while he was sleeping.

As of Monday afternoon, police had not announced any arrests in the shooting. Multiple shell casings were found in the parking lot. No other injuries in connection with the shootout were reported.

Late Monday, police sent out photos of a car they believed may be connected to the shooting — a vehicle they described as a dark gray or black Charger, Challenger or Chrysler 300 with "extensive front-end damage" and possibly bullet holes.

The police department is asking anyone with tips to call Crime Stoppers — which can be done anonymously — at 704-334-1600 or detectives at 704-432-8477.

There have been 13 homicides reported by CMPD this year.

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