7 Dead In 7 Days: Charlotte Sees String Of Deadly Shootings
A string of deadly shootings in Charlotte has left seven people dead in as many days -- five of them young men in their teens or early 20s. The shootings add to a growing number of homicides in a year on pace to surpass 2019 as Charlotte's deadliest year in decades.
The seven shootings from July 9 through July 16 took place at various times and in a variety of locations around the city, including at convenience stores, apartments, intersections and gas stations. All of the victims were men.
The victims include three teenagers: Ferrell Bradley, 14, shot outside the Murphy USA gas station on Ashley Road Thursday; Vontarius Doster, 16, shot near the Southside Homes apartment complex early Monday; and Cory Jermaine McKinney Jr., 17, shot by the intersection of Cushman Street and Ridgedale Circle on Sunday afternoon.
The others were Andrew McCullough, 23, shot outside a home on Bramblewood Drive on Thursday; Delvin Teach, 21, found shot inside a vehicle that had struck a tree at the Robinsdale Apartments on Sunday; Allen Smith, 52, also found shot inside a vehicle at a BP gas station Saturday; and Roscoe Wright, 57, shot near Coliseum Drive.
The shootings come as the number of homicides in Charlotte this year are on track to surpass 2019's record-breaking homicide count. As of Friday afternoon, 61 homicides had been reported in Charlotte this year, compared with 58 at this same time last year.
Following last year's record breaking violence, the local leaders announced they would invest in a new violence intervention program, but an investigation by The Charlotte Observer finds relatively little money has been budgeted for violence prevention -- about $350,000 -- and the county has yet to hire a violence prevention coordinator or any violence interrupters.
Rebecca Trotsky with the local chapter of Moms Demand Action says the pandemic may be pulling focus from those violence prevention initiatives, which are overseen by the county's health department.
"We need to double down on supporting those initiatives because they do in fact work," she said, "it's just that it's a very difficult time to stay focused on that, and we need to support our communities."
A spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it was difficult to pinpoint what could be driving this year's increase in homicides. He noted that teenagers have been out of school because of the pandemic, and that crime tends to rise during the summer months.
The spokesman also estimated at least 40 of this year's homicides have involved a firearm, and that violent crime as a whole has risen 10% this July compared with last year.
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