Charlotte murder rate not far off from record

Charlotte murder rate not far off from record

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mothers of Murdered Offspring's Judy Williams says she has organized too many vigils for the families and friends of murder victims.

On Saturday, a balloon release vigil was held for 14-year-old Taylor Smith, the east Charlotte girl who was shot and killed in a park Monday.

"That's just troubling to my spirit," Williams said.

Smith's murder happened in Mount Holly, but across the Mecklenburg County border, Charlotte has seen a violent first three months of the year.

The city has seen 27 murders so far in 2017, which is on pace for more than 100 murders for the year. Last year, the city saw 67 murders. That number was at a seven-year high, according to police.

Charlotte is not quite on pace to see it's deadliest year. That came in 1993, with 129 murders.

Williams says she is disturbed by how close we could get if the murder rate stays where it is.

"What in the devil is going on? What is on people's minds, to where they are not communicating, they would rather pick up a gun and shoot, than to talk it out," Williams said.

While Williams says she has organized too many of these vigils so far this year, she's hoping it could help slow down the murder rate.

"We want to get to them at these candlelight services, as our opportunity to try to appeal to them to please put the guns down and start talking."

Mothers of Murdered Offspring organized a vigil for Ruby and Curtis Atkinson, Sr., a couple allegedly killed by their son, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Camp Greene Park.

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