CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Tuesday, family and friends continued to show up at the memorial on Beatties Ford Road after a shooting that killed four people and injured 10 others.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said Monday that seven people were shot, including two people who died at the scene. Five others were injured when they were hit by vehicles driving away from the chaos.
CMPD announced Kelly Miller and Christopher Gleaton died the night of the incident, and Jamaa Cassell died the next day in the hospital. Family members of Dairyon Stevenson revealed to WCNC on Tuesday he was another one of the victims and had to be taken off life support.
“You guys always say 'Black Lives Matter,' but you’re out here killing each other,” said Sabrina Cassell, Jamaa’s cousin.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who were victims,” said Charlotte councilman Malcolm Graham.
Graham says he remembers a time when Beatties Ford Road thrived.
“This is the heart of the African American community, this was basically our Trade and Tryon street, the center of business and commerce,” Graham said.
Over time, Graham says the area dwindled.
“A lot of people are working really hard to bring back that history that tradition of Black commerce or Black Wall Street,” Graham said.
Graham says the type of violence seen on Sunday night tarnishes that work.
“I was disappointed and frustrated,” Graham said.
“If you want to address violence you’ve got to be proactive,” said Robert Dawkins with the organization Action NC.
Dawkins says Action NC is pushing for the city to invest in violence interrupters.
“If there was a party of 400 people made up of people from the community, it would have also been made up of interrupters,” Dawkins said.
Dawkins says the interrupters would be people who’ve committed crimes or had crimes committed against them working to stop violence, a concept already being used in different parts of the country.
“If you’re trying to talk to people about violence, but you haven’t committed violence or been a victim of violence, then you’re just reading from a book,” Dawkins said.
Dawkins says the concept allows community members to use their own street cred to deter others from choosing the same path.
“It’s a whole different respect level that would not be able to be replicated,” Dawkins said.
Graham says it’s something the city is looking into.
“Certainly before COVID-19 this is the path we were going on,” Graham said. “I think we’re going to pick up where we left off.”