CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced a new task force Wednesday that will specifically focus on the people pulling the triggers of guns during violent crimes.
The announcement comes as CMPD arrested 16-year-old Cameron Holder in the death of 16-year-old Jayvon Goolsby.
Goolsby was hit by a bullet while getting ready for school in his north Charlotte home in March. He died from his injuries. Police say Goolsby was not the intended target. Instead, police say he was yet another innocent person victimized by violent gun crimes.
“Perhaps one of the most troubling things we're seeing is that often the intended targets are not the only victims of these shootings. We have grandmothers. We have brothers. We have sisters. We have neighbors, all of which are again unintended targets of these shootings however they are victimized. Innocent people being affected by these shooting incidents,” Major A. R. Rutledge told reporters.
Major Rutledge said violent gun crimes are on the rise, up sixteen percent since last year. Shooting into occupied buildings, the cause of Jayvon Goolsby’s death, up twenty-eight percent from 2018.
“In many cases we have folks that are shooting at houses and shooting at individuals simply because they were disrespected on social media or a girlfriend was spoken to or a boyfriend was spoken to, by another person. And again, these are relatively minor disputes that start out relatively minor but end unfortunately in gun violence,” Rutledge told reporters.
“Gone are the days of settling your disputes on the school yard with a fist fight, when at the end of that fight…it's over. So those days are gone. And we're having to adjust with that,” Rutledge said of the need for this new task force.
He noted that of the twelve hundred guns seized this year, most of them were obtained illegally.
The task force will not focus on an area of Charlotte or Mecklenburg County. The mission is to zero in on the people using guns to commit crimes.
“We can't emphasize enough that we need the community's help when it comes to solving crimes. This is not just a police problem, it's a community problem,” Rutledge said.
He encouraged anyone with knowledge of a crime, from murder to larceny, to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. You can remain anonymous and could receive a reward if your information leads to an arrest.