CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlene Bates got the phone call last weekend that no mother ever wants to receive. A family member called just after midnight Sunday morning at her home in Arizona with news that her son, Teaun Bates, had been shot.
“She was all over the place and she was just trying to calm herself down on the phone,” explained Charlene Bates.
She says a short time later she received a call from a detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. She knew the news wasn’t good.
“When he told me that my son didn’t make it, it was over,” recounted Bates through teary eyes.
She says she quickly packed her bags as arrangements were made for her to fly out to Charlotte. Her son’s death has left her devastated. Teaun Bates was just 29 years old.
“I am so lost right now. I don’t know what to do because that was my only child. That was my only kid and he didn’t even make his 30th birthday,” said Bates.
Bates describes her son as a “a nice young man” who enjoyed music and basketball even though he wasn’t very athletic. She said her son moved to Charlotte about a year ago and had been working multiple jobs with plans of finishing his college education.
Detective Chris Lyon with the CMPD is the lead investigator on the case. He met with Charlene Bates Thursday at the Delta Crossing Apartments in east Charlotte. The grieving mother says her son had been living with family members in one of the units. He lost his life just yards away from the front door.
Lyon said Teaun was smoking outside the unit when he was approached by two men. What transpired next is unclear, but shots were fired and the two men took off under the cover of darkness.
“I don’t know that it was a robbery. We’re investigating it just as a shooting. The motive and the reason for the shooting I’m not sure of at this point,” said Lyon.
The detective added that Teaun wasn’t involved in any activity that would have contributed to his death.
“He wasn’t bothering anyone in the community. He worked at two different jobs and one of those jobs he pulled double shifts. He kept to himself. He didn’t mess with anyone out here, and he was killed for no reason,” explained Lyon.
The detective spent part of Thursday morning canvassing the area with other CMPD officers. They hope someone has information about what happened.
Bates is pleading with community members to come forward if they know what happened to her son.
“It doesn’t matter what you saw, what you heard, please call the police,” said Charlene Bates.
While she is still grieving the loss of her son, she explained that seeing his killers brought to justice is of the utmost importance.
“To me, they don’t deserve to breathe. If my son is sitting on a slab, cold, breathless, they don’t deserve to breathe,” said Bates emphatically.
Lyon said one of the men who approached Teaun before his death was wearing black and the other was wearing red. They’re hoping people from the community will come forward and share information if they know who is responsible for the killing.
Charlotte Crime Stoppers is already offering a $5000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Tipsters can remain anonymous. Anyone with information they’d like to share should call 704-334-1600.