CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Last week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings listened to concerns from residents about recent violence in their northwest Charlotte neighborhood.
The reality is, children have been victims of more shootings in Charlotte, especially over the past couple of weeks.
Last week, on back-to-back days, two young children, ages 7 years old, were struck by gunfire.
On March 30, a 7-year-old girl was hit by bullets during crossfire outside an apartment complex on Marble Street, the same day a 14-year-old and 15-year-old were shot about a mile away on Hovis Road.
Three men were arrested, but 20-year-old Alvin Steele was charged with the shooting of the child.
On March 31, police had reported that another 7-year-old was struck by a bullet after a 29-year-old man was killed at a home on Oak Meadow Court.
CMPD detectives charged 18-year-old Mario Alexander Monroy and 19-year-old Andy Jonathan Garcia for the murder of 29-year-old Selvin Yovani Lara-Reyes. Police said a 7-year-old was also shot.
This comes nearly two weeks after police said a man was shot in a targeted attack on Hovis Road. The police report listed a 3-year-old was nearby but was not injured.
“If you want to pull on my heartstrings, you get a small child involved in such a senseless act of criminal activity,” Jennings said.
Jennings told concerned Charlotte residents last week that the key to slowing down violent crime in the city is by building an outreach between the community and law enforcement officers.
“I just hope we can come together as a community and do things together and have a better outlook of each other,” Jennings said.
“We can’t do this by ourselves,” Jennings said. “If people are waiting around for the police to solve all the problems, it’s not going to happen.”
Last Friday, Hovis Road was a domain for prayer and a rallying cry against the violence.
“Somebody say enough is enough,” said Kevin Newman with New Outreach Christian Center.
Friday’s prayer vigil was held to support families affected by gun violence and have conversations with neighbors about intervention.
Chandra Brown marched through the neighborhood praying and singing with faith leaders and the community nonviolence organization Take Back our H.O.O.D.S.
Her granddaughter Zionna was shot on Marble Street.
Marquita Streeter’s 15-year-old son was shot on Hovis Road on Tuesday just a few hours before the shooting on Marbles Street. A 14-year-old boy was shot in that same shooting. Both teens are expected to be okay.
His mother is telling people to stop the violence and turn their problems over to God instead of choosing to harm one another.
“We’ve got to stop this y’all, we’ve got to come together. It’s too many of us leaving here behind senseless violence,” Streeter said.
Last year, police investigated 123 homicides in Charlotte.
So far, in 2021, there have been 25 homicides in the city.