Police search for suspect in Charlotte's first homicide of 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A young man is in the wrong place at the wrong time and he becomes Charlotte's first murder victim of 2012.

Authorities say a 19-year-old man was shot to death outside a Charlotte nightclub just a few hours into the new year.

Investigators said police were trying to clear the parking lot of Club Backstage on E. WT Harris Drive around 2 a.m. Sunday when they heard a gunshot.

Detective Dave Abbott showed WBTV's Paul Cameron where Brandon Covington was shot in the head and died. Several hundred people were inside the club celebrating the New Year.

At closing time, a large number of people moved outside to the parking lot. A scuffle broke out, then gunfire, hitting Covington.

Family spokeswoman and pastor Joatella Thompson says Brandon had just decided to return to Garinger High to get his diploma.

"Brandon was a very loving person, very loving, very kind, he was not a stranger to anyone," said Thompson.

With emotions over the shooting now calming down, Detective Abbott believes people who were in the parking lot that night will now feel more free to come forward.

"With the amount of people out here in parking lot, a the time it happened, I find it hard to believe nobody knew who was involved with this," said Abbott, "I believe it was a spur of the moment type thing, not anything that was planned."

Pastor Thompson says she's being trying to find the right words to comfort Brandon's family. "I've been telling the family, just trust God, trust God and we're praying that anyone who's done this to come forward."

A candlelight vigil is planned for this Sunday, 7:00PM, at Eastland Mall.

If you can help find the shooter, call Crimestoppers in Charlotte at (704) 334-1600 and you could earn a reward of up to $5,000.

Also, if you want to join Charlotte's crime fighting team, you or your company can make a donation to Charlotte Crimestoppers by PayPal. Follow this link http://www.charlottecrimestoppers.com/donation__membership

Crimestoppers solves another case.

Within an hour of WBTV airing a story airing about a serial burglar at the first of the year, police arrested Jeremy Green. They accuse him of breaking into the Mountain Island BP station and taking cigarettes.

There is surveillance video of him fighting with a security guard as he tries to leave. That security guard took a shot at his vehicle, but missed.