CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - By the age of 24, friends say Tommy Jarad Maddox had learned from life.
"Good dude," a friend described Maddox. "All he want to do is help his family, better himself for his kids. That's the only reason he came out here – get away from all the gang activity and stuff. He was trying to better himself."
The friend, who doesn't want his name used, says Maddox moved to Charlotte from Syracuse a couple of years ago and was staying with that friend and his mother.
"He didn't want to hurt nobody," says his friend, who was there with Maddox when the shots were fired. "That wasn't meant for him. He had nothing to do with the situation. Tommy was a good man."
Police say around noon on Sunday they received a call for an assault with a dangerous weapon. Officers say when they arrived they found a man, later identified as Maddox, "lying in front of an apartment building with an apparent gunshot wound."
Maddox's friend says he doesn't want to talk about what happened.
"It all happened so fast. I don't even know what to tell you," the friend told WBTV. "It was out here, standing outside on the porch. He was with me. I was standing on the porch with him."
Family members from out of state told WBTV that they were told there was an argument in the apartment complex earlier, and the woman involved in the argument reportedly told the other person he would be shot. At this point, no one knows if the argument led to the shooting.
Police have not revealed any information about a possible motive or the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
Hours after the argument - while Maddox and his friend were outside - neighbors say a car drove by and someone inside started shooting.
A bullet hit the windshield of Maddox's friend's vehicle and there are bullet holes in the columns outside the unit. Windows in the townhouse next door were shot and another unit has three bullet holes.
Maddox was the only person wounded. Police say medics rushed him to the hospital where he later died.
"Every morning he would get up, go to work 6:30 in the morning, come home and do everything he needed to do better himself," his friend says. "His goal was to get into the Air Force, to be able to provide, be able to be a good father for his three daughters. That's all he wanted to do - was be a better father."