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2 Dead In Weekend Shootings; 88 Homicides Reported In Charlotte This Year

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MAX PIXEL

Updated 7 a.m. Tuesday

Two weekend shooting deaths have brought Charlotte’s homicide count to its highest level since the 1990s. Since January, 88 people have been killed in the city, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.  

The first fatal shooting happened Saturday evening in east Charlotte. Police say 21-year-old Malik Hashaun Clark II was taken by friends to an urgent care facility on Albemarle Road about 6:40 p.m. for treatment of a gunshot wound. Paramedics rushed Clark to Carolinas Medical Center, where he later died.  

The shooting happened in the 1300 block of Kelston Place, near Albemarle Road. As of Sunday afternoon, police hadn't released any information about what led to the shooting. 

Then, on Sunday evening, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed in the 300 block of West Boulevard, near Charlotte’s South End and Wilmore neighborhoods.  

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Ronnie Lamont Franklin was shot to death outside of a Bojangles' near West and South Tryon Street just after 5 p.m. He had apparently been in an argument with several people inside the restaurant just before the shooting.

CMPD says the suspected shooter drove off in a white Nissan Rogue. The car’s license plate number hadn’t been released as of Sunday evening.  

The latest homicides eclipse the number of killings in 2017, which was then Charlotte's deadliest year since 1995. The deadliest year recorded in Charlotte was 1993, when there were 129 homicides. Charlotte's population was much smaller then — about 450,000 compared to about  870,000 today.

The weekend shootings come a few days after 61-year-old Jennifer Ann Banner was found dead near a building in the 3100 block of Freedom Drive. Banner's body was found Wednesday night – something police announced Friday – and a homicide investigation was later launched. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police haven't said how Banner was killed. 

CMPD released its third-quarter crime statistics last week, and they showed violent crime was up 11% from the same period in 2018. 

Last year, there were 58 homicides reported. 

Deputy Chief Gerald Smith said during a press conference on the crime statistics that the department was "making a great effort" to curb violent crime. 

"We're looking at a whole community perspective of it," Smith said. "There are interests from the health department. There are interests from all over to see what we can do to come together to turn the tide with this whole situation." 

As of the end of September, there'd been a 7% increase in rapes, a 15% increase in robbery and a 9% increase in aggravated assault from September 2018. Of the roughly 3,500 aggravated assault cases, more than 2,300 involved guns. 

CMPD is asking anyone with information that can help detectives solve homicide cases to call 704-432-8477.