After Beatties Ford Road Shooting, Residents Talk About Fears, Concerns
There are still many unknowns around the mass shooting on Beatties Ford Road that occurred early Monday morning. What we do know is that two Juneteenth celebrations occurred on Friday and Saturday on Beatties Ford Road. Both were peaceful. A third started off peaceful Sunday, but turned violent as gunshots were fired at roughly 12:30 a.m. People were hit by cars as they tried to flee the scene. Three people have died. Police are still searching for a motive and suspects.
On Monday CMPD was still waiting for people to come forward with what they saw. WFAE’s Sarah Delia headed down Beatties Ford Road to hear what people had to say.
On Monday afternoon, yellow police tape marked a portion of Beatties Ford Road that just days before, had been the gathering spot of peaceful festivities celebrating Juneteenth. Red and green balloons scattered the ground, some still filled with air. A grill lined with cooked meat and roasted corn on the cob, still wrapped in aluminum foil, stood right next to the yellow tape where police were searching for evidence. Multiple tire tracks where cars had circled doughnuts into the street looked so fresh it looked like the cars had just driven off.
Nick Hinton was there when things took a turn. He says he was heading back up the street when he heard gun shots. He didn’t think too much of it until he saw a woman injured. After helping her to her car, he went back out to make sure his friends were OK. Then he saw more people on the ground.
"I seen the girl laying on the ground, in the middle of the street. Her head, her wig, her brains was attached, separated from her. Once I saw that I got in my car and left," Hinton said. "As I came back up here to try and find my homies and there was a dude over there laying down ... she was in the middle of street, the girl that I helped, I don't think the police know her blood is over there."
It got bad quickly. There were too many people in one spot, Hinton said. He added that Sunday night’s event was much different than celebrations that had occurred throughout the weekend celebrating Juneteenth.
And that’s what two women, Tasha and Chantelle, want people to know. Monday morning’s incident was preceded by two peaceful and well-attended Juneteenth celebrations at the same location on Beatties Ford Road, they pointed out. They were concerned that the violence was the only thing that would make the news.
Chantelle said Friday night there was a peaceful parade that included a DJ. Everything was fine until Monday morning, they said.
In the backdrop of the crime scene is a beauty supply shop, one of the businesses in the immediate area that’s actually open.
The owner, Waled Alboga, sits behind a counter surrounded by hair extensions. He’s spent Monday morning talking to people in the neighborhood about the violent turn of events. He believes people from outside Charlotte are to blame.
"The people are outsiders from this neighborhood," Alboga said. "I’ve been here over 20 years in this neighborhood. I know it inside and out. What's happening, there's no way it can be from Charlotte."
Alboga cares about this neighborhood. But this incident does have him thinking about retirement. Yet he has a love for west Charlotte and the community. He’s not scared like others, he says, who shy away from having a business on this corner of Beatties Ford Road.
"A lot of people don’t want to open on this corner here," he said. "God gave me the strength to stay here. I hope it will get better one day. But I understand the community, I understand the neighborhood, I understand the people of Beatties Ford."
He’s never been robbed. The neighborhood takes care of him, and he takes care of the neighborhood.
Regulars started to fill the beauty store, some commenting on the shooting as they walked in, some just hearing the news about violence and wondering what was going on with the yellow police tape.
One of the shop’s regulars is LaTavia Roseboro. She spent Saturday and Sunday on Beatties Ford Road during Juneteenth celebrations. She also lives in the neighborhood. She says when she heard gun shots early Monday morning, she just ran, hoping she wasn't next.
"You can’t tell where it’s coming from, you can’t see them, so you’re just running, hoping you don’t get hit. I ran past here and there was a guy, he got shot in the head," Roseboro said. "He was just laying over there. It was a lot."
She added she has a strong intuition. When she was out Saturday night, she felt fine. But something was off from the onset of Sunday that led into Monday morning’s shooting. Now she says, she knows what that nagging feeling, almost a warning, was.
As the afternoon heat rose, folks who checked out the scene left and newcomers trying to make sense of what happened Monday morning arrived. Veanna Davis was taking in the crime scene. Plates, posters and cups were scattered in the middle of the road. She wasn’t there when the shots were fired, but she did watch videos of the violence. She says this incident is the tipping point for her family to move out of Charlotte.
She spoke passionately with both anger and concern in her voice.
"Either you can come together as one or quit saying Black lives matter until y’all can. Cause it’s not going to matter until it matters to us. And I’m Black. That could have been somebody’s 2-year-old or 3-year-old laying out here dead last night. And then if martial law comes in everybody is like, ‘oh they are trying to take the rights of the Black people.’ No, it's not that," she said. "Y’all are taking your own lives."
Davis said she stayed up all night watching videos through tears, taking in the violence. Everyone should have been waking up happy she says, talking about the good time they had on Beatties Ford Road for the third night in a row, instead she says, everyone is waking up in sorrow.