Funeral home director shares unique perspective on increase in violence, recent shooting hits close to home

CMPD investigating first homicide of 2020 in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Neighbors who work and live in the Trinity Park/Beatties Ford neighborhood in north Charlotte are frustrated with the crime and say something needs to change fast.

That neighborhood is where one person was killed and another person shot early Wednesday morning, marking the first homicide of 2020.

No one feels stronger that the violence needs to stop than Simone Richmond, who runs a funeral home down the street. This time, she found herself with a close connection since this person who was shot and injured was her son.

“I can’t even tell you how many people we buried this year,” said Richmond.

A full week into the new year but at the Richmond Funeral Home, they can’t quite forget the violence in 2019.

“We have seen more homicides than the combined 20 years we’ve been in business. Natural causes usually, but not at the hand of another,” she said.

She says the increase in violence has been overwhelming and is the worst she’s ever seen it.

“Every day there is a murder, and there is an alert that comes up on my phone,” she said. “First homicide of the year, we found out through the news.”

Her son was injured during this most recent shooting on Feldbank Drive, which is just blocks away from where she runs her business. She said her son was shot in the leg but is expected to make a full recovery.

“We were glad because we weren’t going to pick him up as the funeral home, we’re just going to get him from the hospital,” she said.

She said she’s frustrated with the violence and said she wants to see more police out on the streets and more city leaders in the communities instead of “sitting behind their desks.”

“We need more policing, more community involvement, more of a unified body, looking out for everybody,” Richmond said.

The police department along with city leaders are working on a plan. On Monday night, city council members heard a data-driven presentation highlighting certain areas at more risk for criminal activity.

“This work ramps up now, that’s the next thing,” said CMPD Deputy Chief Gerald Smith.

The homicide on Feldbank drive is not specifically in one of those highlighted areas in the presentation.

“Somebody is getting shot over here, over here, over there, you just don’t know. To pinpoint certain neighborhoods and areas, I don’t agree with that,” said Richmond.

Police don’t have any suspects in this morning’s homicide. If you know anything, call police. You can as always remain anonymous.

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