Silent march held one year after Beatties Ford Road mass shooting

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:13 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tuesday marked one year since four people were killed and five others were hurt during a Juneteenth block party on Beatties Ford Road.

A silent march was held “The Beatties Ford 4″ Tuesday. The march will started at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road. Prayers and a moment of silence were set before the march.

There were more than 300 witnesses to the deadly June 22, 2020 shooting. Police called the incident a “mass casualty” and say over 100 rounds were fired into the crowd.

Although police said people have come forward, they still don’t have enough information to make an arrest.

That is disappointing news for the families who lost a loved one, who are searching for justice for their loved ones.

“Somebody’s got to pay the piper, and it’s going to happen,” said Charles Billings, who son Jamaa was killed on Beatties Ford Road during the block party.

Video of the night taken on a Facebook live stream showed a celebration turn to violence and chaos. The video is still hard for Billings to watch. Since that day, he’s never stopped looking for justice.

“If they lost a loved one of family member or a child, you wouldn’t give up, like I said, I’m not gonna give up,” he said speaking about justice for his son.

Police say they’ve been working tirelessly to make an arrest but so far, nothing.

“We still need community members to come forward. There were hundreds of people present that night. And we have yet to get that one piece of information we need to really make an arrest and progress the case,” Lt. Bryan Crum said with CMPD.

CMPD released this video at the end of 2020 of surveillance showing men responding to the shooting with large automatic weapons. They think they could be involved or know the people who started shooting.

They hoped it would break the case wide open, but unfortunately, they’re still waiting for the right pieces of this difficult puzzle.

“When you see all those efforts not being able to put those final pieces of the puzzle together to make those arrests that is necessary, it is frustrating,” said CMPD chief, Johnny Jennings.

Organizers are planning a march to commemorate the one year anniversary of the shooting and deaths here on Beatties Ford Road.

Survivors of the shooting say they want answers too and say being there that night have had dramatic effects on them this past year.

“It took weeks, months for me to get back to normal. You constantly heard the gunfire in your head. It’s a constant reminder,” said Mario Black who was there that night and is organizing the march. “It was a traumatic experience to have to experience the gunshots, hearing the ringing of gunfire and running for your life.”

Business owners who work on Beatties Ford and LaSalle say the only way this community can move forward is when someone is behind bars for this tragedy. Terese Hutchison says she’s tired of seeing the vigils.

“It’s just sad to even think about something happening like that and still no answers,” she said. “It shouldn’t look like a grave yard when you come to work everyday.”

CMPD released new video connected to the investigation, asking anyone who recognizes someone in the video to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

“Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $22,000,” CMPD tweeted. The reward amount was previously $10,000.

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