CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police are responding to an uptick in shootings in Charlotte this year, especially with people shooting into homes and cars, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Officers say that just in the past seven days, there have been more than 20 homes or cars that have been shot into in Charlotte.
CMPD is working to find ways to solve that problem, starting with increasing reward money for information leading to an arrest in a violent crime.
For the next six months, CMPD says it will up its reward to up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest for any and all violent crimes in Charlotte.
This year, CMPD has responded to more than 760 shootings into occupied dwellings in 2020, which is a 50 percent increase of the same incidents compared to this time last year.
“It has to stop,” said CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano. “This is a grave concern for the community.”
CMPD has set up a Shooting in Occupied Dwelling Task Force, led by CMPD Lt. Andy Royster.
Royster says that there have been more than 200 arrests made this year from people shooting into occupied dwellings. Additionally, there have been more than 105 guns seized, and 20 percent of those guns were reported to be stolen.
Royster said they have confiscated guns from AK 47s to AR 15s to handguns. The most popular gun they have seized is the .9 mm pistol.
“Instead of having constructive conversations to solve the problem, they go out and just shooting each other, and a lot of times just shoot at a house,” Royster said. “That’s problematic because a lot of the houses they are hitting are innocent victims which we have seen too many times in Charlotte.”
Based on interviews and investigations, Royster says a lot of the shootings happen because someone feels disrespected on social media.
“We are running into is trying to find out what is driving the violence,” he said. “A lot of these shootings have been started because of a beef on social media. Someone feels disrespected.”
Royster also said that it has become challenging for officers to solve these crimes because victims aren’t being cooperative.
Royster gave an example of an incident that happened last week.
He said a neighbor called police saying that someone was firing shots at a house next door.
When police responded, the homeowner told them “everything was fine.”
Police set up a zone check in that neighborhood, and later found a shooting into an occupied dwelling.
After a pursuit, three of the four suspects were taken into custody and a gun was recovered.
“We can only do so much,” Royster said. “We have to have everyone’s help to solve this problem. Our intent is to make the community safer but to do that we need the help of the community to make it safer.”
Charlotte has 98 homicides in 2020.
Crime Stoppers offers up to a $5,000 reward for information in those cases.
“It’s frustrating when you see grown men solving problems by picking up guns and shooting up places,” Royster said. “I think we are at a slippery slope going down quick.”