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Early Tip Helps CMPD Arrest Suspect In East Charlotte Shooting

CMPD vehicle

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said an early tip helped them track down a suspect in the shooting of two children at an east Charlotte apartment complex Monday, as they stressed the importance of community help in solving cases.

Police charged 20-year-old Jatarius Jones for his involvement in the shooting Tuesday after a resident identified the car he fled in.  

"That small piece of information we were supplied on Monday night helped us put this puzzle together," CMPD Lt. Alan Greene said during a press conference Wednesday. "It's vitally important that we get information from citizens. And I think it's even more important that this citizen came up very early on in the investigation. It wasn't a week or two down the line."

Those comments come as CMPD still is seeking information from witnesses about a mass shooting on Beatties Ford Road in June that killed four people. No charges have been filed in that case.

On Sept. 2,  CMPD chief Johnny Jennings told WFAE that officers were "having to piece all the evidence together with the suspect information. So they're making progress. It's going to be long term. Of course, it would always be shorter if we had witnesses that would actually come forward." 

With the shooting Monday, police said an 11-year-old boy and his 5-year-old brother were playing with their pet rabbit on a balcony of their apartment off Amity Pointe Road around 5:45 p.m. when they were shot.

Police said the older boy is in the hospital but expected to survive after being shot in the back of the head. The younger boy has been released from the hospital after he was grazed in the side by a bullet. 

Jones was arrested along with two other men after a separate road rage shooting later Monday in north Charlotte. Greene said information about the car allowed crime analysts to link the two incidents, and led to the arrest.

There have been at least two other incidents of children being shot in Charlotte in the past two months. In August, a 2-year-old died after accidentally shooting himself with an unsecured gun. On Sept. 9, a 5-year-old girl was killed after she was shot inside her apartment in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of northeast Charlotte. A 14-year-old was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in that case one day later.

In all, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say 49 children have been hurt by gunfire in their jurisdiction this year as of Sept. 21, including accidental shootings, self-inflicted gunshots and foul play. That number is up from the same period in the last three years. 

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