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Charlotte Area News

Putney Says Labor Day Weekend Shootings Are Related, 'Gang-Like'

Duncan McFadyen

Charlotte police believe several deadly shootings over the weekend are connected. Seven people were injured and five were killed, including a 7-year-old boy. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney Tuesday stopped short of saying gangs are responsible. Instead, he said investigators believe “gang-like” groups retaliated against each other.

Putney says investigators believe the shootings resulted from what he calls “silly disagreements” between 18 to 24-year-olds in clubs.

" [It's] just stupid stuff actually, and it’s frustrating, because no argument should end the way some of these have been ending," he says.

  He says police think the arguments only go back a few weeks. But he says investigators are looking back at other shootings into occupied homes to see if there are any connections.

Two men died Saturday morning in a shooting on North Hoskins Road in northwest Charlotte. Saturday night, a 7-year-old boy was killed in the Steele Creek area. As police were investigating that shooting Sunday morning, they responded to another shooting nearby where a woman was killed. Another man was found shot to death later Sunday morning near the Plaza in east Charlotte.

Of the fivepeople killed, Putney says three were African-American and two were Latino, but he says the shootings don’t appear to be racially-motivated.

Putney says he believes the 7-year-old boy was mistakenly shot. That boy’s family had recently moved into the home, and he says it appears the shooter either got the address wrong or was targeting people who no longer lived there.

Putney called the press conference to ask for help.  The investigation is more difficult because people who were shot and survived are not talking.

"We’re always making progress," he says, "we just haven’t had the break we need."

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers. The reward has been doubled from $5,000 to $10,000.