Victim's family, city leaders have questions after uptown shooting

Victim's family, city leaders have questions after uptown shooting

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by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36

WCNC.com

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 31 at 7:23 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Questions continue to swirl as investigators search for whoever fired shots during one of many fights in uptown Charlotte early Sunday.

Investigators say Antwan Terrell Smith was shot and killed after someone pulled a gun just after 1 a.m. during a large fight on 3rd Street. Durante Kavon James was shot in the leg.
 
It was one of several fights that broke out after the Speed Street celebration in Uptown. CMPD called out its Civil Emergency Unit after reporting that many large groups of people were disobeying police, flashing gang signs, blocking traffic and fighting.

A manager at a convenience store on North Tryon Street tells NewsChannel 36 a huge crowd swarmed the store, broke a window, and began stealing things, before running away.

In all, 70 people were arrested - including 15 juveniles. Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, fighting, assault, and impeding traffic.

Police tried to track the shooter from 3rd Street with both a helicopter and a K-9 unit, but, as of Monday night, no one had been arrested. Antwan Smith's friends and family met back on 3rd Street to remember him.

"All we want to know is who did it. I mean, there was at least 70 people arrested, and all those people outside. Somebody seen something," his sister Shawnta Smith said through tears. "The bullet wasn’t even for him. He was just taking up for a friend and he got gunned down in the process," she said.

"Right now, they want to slander his name, but this ain't about none of that," a friend said. "We're out here to show our love and show our respect."

Several city leaders have expressed concerns about the incident. Though it has been several years since there was trouble, it is not the first Uptown gathering marred by late night arrests. The city is anxious to put its best foot forward for next year's Democratic National Convention.

Mayor Anthony Foxx released a statement:

"The crime that took place Sunday morning is disturbing and unacceptable. Neither our center city nor any of our neighborhoods are appropriate places for violence. Over the last twenty four hours, our police force has been focused on getting to the bottom of this incident. I have full confidence that Chief Monroe will use all of the tools available to find and ensure the prosecution of those responsible and take preemptive actions to make sure this rare occurrence does not repeat itself. While Charlotte's crime rate is the lowest in 30 years, the events of Sunday night are a harsh reminder that we still have more work to do."

Councilman Andy Dulin tweeted his concern. "This is UNACCEPTABLE. I am on it!"

Councilman David Howard sent a statement as well.

"I do look forward to learning more about this situation from the City staff and CMPD. Speed Street and the other race events have more often than not, gone off with no major problems over the years. I am confident that just like those other rare occasions when bad things happened, CMPD will take the proper actions to address these situations in the future. Let’s not lose sight of all the other positive years this event has been successful."

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