CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police say they were able to arrest three people hours after a woman was killed due to the help from witnesses.
Katie Eckert, 27, was shot and killed in her car after an armed robbery. It happened at a shopping center off of West Sugar Creek Road after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Detectives have charged 22-year-old Marquez Tyrone Williamson, 25-year-old Bricard Washington and a 16-year-old-male for the murder.
Witnesses gave officers a description of the suspect vehicle and the direction it headed, which allowed them to track down the car.
A traffic stop was initiated on the vehicle.
Williamson, Washington and the juvenile male were all inside. All three were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed by detectives.
At the conclusion of the interview, Williamson, Washington, and the juvenile male were charged with murder, three counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Additionally, the juvenile male was also charged with three counts of malicious conduct by a prisoner.
A business owner in the strip mall told WBTV this violent crime is not out of the norm in this location.
“We’ve been here for 20 years and I think I just got used to things,” he said. “We have a security guard. He was here yesterday, but it still happened.”
CMPD is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting.
“There was evidence there were drugs associated with that, and we believe that may be a potential motive,” CMPD Lt. Bryan Crump said.
This is the latest in recent violent crimes involving young people.
“It’s really a troubling trend when we see victims 14 years old, suspects 16 years old,” Lt. Crump said. “Kids getting involved in very adult decisions.”
It concerns parents like Erica Thompson who lives nearby.
“I do have four small kids and it’s very sad that people are out here just cutting up a fool and not thinking about their actions and how it does affect other people,” Thompson said.
She says it falls on the community to teach the youth to love.
“We don’t want the hatred part to intervene with the things we need to get done,” she said.
Police still have 17 active homicide cases to solve out of the 64 that have happened this year.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.