CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A father was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the death of his 5-month-old son.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police the infant, identified as Peyton Taylor, was admitted to Levine Children’s Hospital on January 14 with signs of abusive head trauma. Just three days later, doctors told police the child would not survive his injuries and a homicide investigation began.
On January 22, the 5-month-old died at the hospital.
The child’s father, 24-year-old Quandeel Taylor, was interviewed by detectives before his arrest on Tuesday.
The news of the baby’s death came as a shock to Will Adams and Donnell Gardner who help run Team Trublue, an organization dedicated to stopping violence in the Charlotte area.
“As a human, I really can’t put my arms around that," said Gardner in an interview with WBTV Tuesday night.
Adams noted that parents don’t need to resort to violence if they are having issues with children.
“If a child is going to cause you to not be that person that you know you can be, there are avenues you can take besides killing a baby," he said.
A longtime friend of Quandeel Taylor’s, Zachary Dorsett, was upset after hearing the murder charge read against Quandeel in court during his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday.
“I am battling with... could he have possibly done it?" Dorsett said.
Dorsett says Quandeel was great around kids and he’s even trusted him with his own kids. He says Peyton was Quandell’s second son by the same mother.
The mother of Quandeel’s children was in court Tuesday but did not want to speak to our reporter.
“Soon after the baby was born [Quandeel] kind of hopped right back on board with [being a dad]," says Dorsett when discussing the birth of Peyton.
Peyton Taylor’s death marks the sixth homicide of the year in Charlotte. In all of January 2019, CMPD investigated nine homicides. Adams hopes 2020 continues to be a year with less killing.
“Let’s just slow it on down some more. Let’s slow this thing down, because as we saw last year it just took and snowballed and got bigger and bigger and bigger," said Adams.
Team Trublue hopes to continue their “boots on the ground” approach at getting people in the community to come together for more love and less violence.
“Get the love and the hope back into our community. That’s what we have to do," said Adams.
Gardner said Team Trublue will be hosting a meet and greet Saturday, February 8, at 2600 Newland Road. The event is scheduled to last from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Quandeel Taylor remains in custody at the Mecklenburg county jail without bond. He is due back in court in February.
Police say the investigation into the case is ongoing.
Anyone with further information is urged to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.