CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg detectives spent the Labor Day holiday dealing with the aftermath of a dizzying series of homicides Sunday, when three separate fatal shootings were reported across the city.
There was no apparent connection between any of the homicide cases, on what was the deadliest day in Charlotte in years. It was the fourth homicide in the city since Thursday, after a year in which Charlotte appeared headed for one of its lowest murder totals in years.
The first two fatal shootings took place in the early-morning hours Sunday. The third happened 90 minutes before midnight. In each case, the victim was a man in his 20s or 30s.
Killed in the Sunday night shooting was 32-year-old James David Lockhart. His body was found shortly before 10:30 p.m. in the 5400 block of Manning Road, in a north Charlotte neighborhood bounded by Nevin Road, North Graham Street, and West Sugar Creek Road.
Investigators didn’t release many details of the death, but they said Lockhart was found with a gunshot wound and was killed at the scene. Detectives scoured the neighborhood for several hours late Sunday and early Monday, interviewing neighbors and looking for evidence.
The first of the homicides was reported just a few minutes after Saturday turned into Sunday.
Police say they were called shortly before 12:05 a.m. to a residence in the 9200 block of Trinity Road, off Beatties Ford Road in northwest Charlotte.
Investigators say they arrived to find a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was identified later as Earnest Sean Milton, 34. Police are not saying what might have led to the shooting.
Police have identified Dennis William Graham as the suspect in Milton's death. A warrant was obtained for Graham's arrest. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say Graham turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday.
Anyone providing information leading to his arrest may be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward of up to $5,000. Graham should be considered armed and dangerous.
About 90 minutes after being called to Trinity Road, police were summoned to the El Gavilan Club in the 3800 block of Driftwood Drive, off Central Avenue. The victim in that shooting was identified as Jose Jesus Hernandez-Diaz, 26.
Detectives say another person was shot and suffered life-threatening injuries. Police say they believe the shootings took place inside the club.
Police have also named a suspect in this murder. The suspect has been known to use the aliases “Colocho” and “Douglas Ubaldo Valle Zuniga.”
Anyone with information concerning the suspect’s identity and or whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Anyone providing information leading to his arrest may be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward of up to $5,000. This suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
The deaths increased Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s homicide total this year to 34. That is four fewer than last year at this time.
The 52 homicides last year were the lowest for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in 24 years.
Police are asking for the public’s help in all three of Sunday’s shootings. Anyone with information can call detectives at 704-432-TIPS, or they can leave information with Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.