Two teens were shot and killed in a neighborhood near uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, last week. A third victim was shot as well, but police have not disclosed their condition at the time of writing.
This brings the number of Charlotte homicides so far this year up to 25. In comparison, last year there were six homicides in the first two months.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are shifting their focus on putting a stop to this drastic increase of gun violence, with Police Chief Kerr Putney saying “This has to stop” in a tweet last week.
The latest shooting
The triple shooting happened late last Wednesday near the intersection of Grandin Road and West Morehead Street. Ibn Marshall, 17, and Anu’bius Smith, 18, were shot and killed inside a vehicle.
“Upon their arrival, officers located a male with apparent gunshot wounds in the parking lot located at 1432 W. Morehead Street,” police said. “Two other male victims were located in a vehicle approximately two blocks away in the 600 block of Grandin Road.”
Police officers found two guns and marijuana at the crime scene. No arrests have been made.
A deadly trend
The uptick in murders this year is a wave of killings that the city of Charlotte has not seen since the 1990s. Police Chief Kerr Putney says the department is shifting officers in order to curb the unusually high rate of violence.
Some crime analysts are not too worried. “We are much safer now than we were 50 or 60 years ago,” said Michael Turner, a professor of criminal justice at UNC Charlotte. “It’s premature to say we have a problem based on two months of data.”
Keeping calm amidst a flurry of violence
Residents in the Wesley Heights neighborhood where the recent killings took place are shaken. Shannon Hughes, president of the neighborhood association, says that neighbors are reaching out to him with concern about the violence.
“I just try to talk them from the ledge,” Hughes said. “We have a lot of families with children. Most of the children slept through it, thank God.”