CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Violent crime is up in our city.
Police say the number of people firing bullets into cars or homes, with no regard as to who might be inside, has them highly concerned.
Gail Henderson-Belsito who worshiped with one of the victims tried to hold back her tears.
“It might make me cry but she was the kind of woman who would approach that person and throw her arms around their neck and say there’s got to be another way to fix whatever is hurting you,” she said.
Wilma Jean’s killer is still out on the street. The 63-year-old was shot and killed by a stray bullet not meant for her while she was picking up her granddaughter from a birthday party back in July. A random act of violence, a tragedy with inconceivable odds – but it happened.
Her gravely baritone voice silenced in the halls of the church she held so dear.
“Someone who brought light and joy and song and life to not only this church but to the larger community,” Belsito said.
Not just another statistic, certainly not the last victim.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they are frustrated too. Not just for Wilma, but for the close to 100 families who have lost loved ones this year in a homicide. One sobering fact that follows another.
“More than 20 homes have been shot into in the last seven days. Seven hundred and sixty so far this year,” said Rob Turfano with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Seven hundred and sixty homes fired into in just 10 months. No care taken to who was on the other side of the wall. Police say the reasons are just as insane as the act themselves.
“A lot of these shooting start because of a beef on social media," one officer said.
Police say someone will trash talk another person online, and instead of dealing with it in another way, many times someone reaches for a gun.
“They decide to shoot each other, and a lot of times shoot at a house," explained Tufano.
There are arrests, plenty of them. There’s also a wide arrangement of firearms recovered including AK-47s, AR-15s and plenty of pistols.
While that’s a good start, it doesn’t fill the hole left by a life lost.
“She would forgive and she would love and she’s want us to forgive. But she’s also want justice,” said Belsito.