CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Dozens of people gathered in Camp Greene Park Thursday night to mourn the loss of a man killed in a shooting last week.
Police say 34-year-old Channing Byers was shot and killed on Trinity Road near Beatties Ford Road in north Charlotte. The incident happened the night of June 29. No one has been charged in Byers’ killing.
The victim’s sister, China Byers, spoke to WBTV in an interview after Thursday night’s vigil.
“Strong individual. He was smart. He would help anybody, whoever was in need of anything,” said China Byers about her brother.
She said Channing is the third brother she’s lost, and she admitted that losing him has been hard.
“It’s been very difficult, but you know what, with God with me, He will always make a way,” said the grieving sibling.
Close to two dozen people attended the vigil. Many of those in attendance were wearing masks or face coverings.
Organizers from Mothers of Murdered Offspring (MOMO), the homicide support group that organized Thursday night’s gathering, have been cautious about bringing groups of people together during the pandemic.
“We have been respectful in honoring the guidelines and procedures for what the state and the governor has asked of us,” said Genecia Hairston, the memorial coordinator for MOMO.
Hairston said that the organization went months without organizing a vigil because of gathering restrictions brought on by the pandemic. She said that during Phase 2 of North Carolina’s phased reopening process, members of MOMO started making contact with grieving families again.
“We let them know ahead of time, ‘Make sure you are having your face masked’. We have Lysol and we have hand sanitizer just to kind of keep everybody safe, but also grieve safely,” explained Hairston.
Unfortunately, there has been no shortage of grieving in 2020. The city of Charlotte saw its 55th homicide Thursday.
“We’re supposed to all be keeping it safe and for whatever reason, the homicides are continuing and so we just want to offer our support to let the families know that even in the midst of a pandemic, ‘we still love you, we still want to encourage you, we still want to pray for you and whatever it is that we can do to accommodate during your grieving process, we’re here for you’,” said Hairston.
Anyone with information about the killing of Channing Byers is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest.