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CMPD says troubling amount of youth are suspects of homicides, community demands action

Between June 29 and July 21, CMPD says two homicide victims were 14. The suspects arrested for homicides in that time period have been between the ages of 16 and 29.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced Wednesday at a press conference that there have been 64 homicides so far this year. That surpasses the 59 homicides Charlotte saw at the same time last year.

Investigators say it’s concerning to see the trend is going in the wrong direction, but they have been able to make arrests in multiple homicide cases due to help from the community.

"We've made a lot of headway in several of our open homicides," CMPD Lieutenant Bryan Crum said.

Lt. Crum says the department has now made nine arrests in seven different homicide cases since June 29.

"We've discussed the need for the community's assistance in clearing our cases.. and yesterday [Tuesday] is a great example," Lt. Crum said.

On Tuesday, Katie Eckerd was killed off West Sugar Creek Road. CMPD said witness information led officers to the three people who have now been charged with murder. 

Those three have been identified as Marquez Williamson, Bricard Washington, and a 16-year-old boy.

RELATED: Three arrested after north Charlotte homicide

"Within hours we had people in custody," Lt. Crum said.

Lt. Crum says the community also helped them lead them to the 26-year-old and 29-year-old charged with killing 14-year-old Ferrell Bradley within 24 hours.

"We had a 14-year-old gunned down, and our community stepped up and did the right thing," Lt. Crum said.

RELATED: 14-year-old boy shot, killed in west Charlotte

Catherine Brewton, the founder of the organization Hope for Harvest says the right thing is for Ferrell to still be alive.

"Nothing about this kid warranted his fate," Brewton said.

Brewton says Ferrell was part of their program. She believes he would have been at their summer camp, and not at the gas station where he was killed, had the coronavirus not forced them to be closed.

"What is it that's so bad that a child's life had to be taken by the hands of an adult," Brewton questioned.

Brewton says it points to a bigger issue of the community not looking out for our underprivileged areas. 

Between June 29 and July 21, CMPD says two of the homicide victims were 14-years-old. The suspects they've arrested for homicides in this time period have been between 16 and 29-years-old.

"Let's get to the back story, let's understand what we are not doing as a community," Brewton said.

Brewton says there's been a lot of talk about helping our youth, but there needs to be action.

"Put your hands on the plow and put resources into our community to make sure no other kid has to suffer this fate," Brewton said.

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