CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over 100 balloons were released on New Year's Day to remember the Charlotte homicide victims of 2019. It was a deadly year in the Queen City, with 108 homicides in Charlotte -- a huge spike from 2018's total of 57.
Of 2019's homicide victims, 80% were killed by gunfire. A number of those homicides are still being investigated.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said small arguments often escalate into gunfire, contributing to the homicide rate.
Mothers of Murdered Offspring (MOMO) invited families to come out to Frazier Park on Wednesday to remember and bond with others who have suffered at the hands of violence.
Each family's loss was unique and heart-wrenching, yet hope was found for some at the balloon release.
"My hope for all the people here is that they learn something and stop the homicides," teenager Julius Odom said. "It's not funny. I have to grow up here. I'm going to be 18 in four years so I don't want to lose another loved one."
Lisa Crawford with MOMO said she hopes the families in attendance can start the year off right in Charlotte.
"We don't ever want to do that again," Crawford said. "Decisions that we make affect so many people. We just need to love each other."
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