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Man killed in south Charlotte shooting identified as former college basketball player

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A man killed in a Sunday night shooting in south Charlotte has been identified as a former college basketball player.

The shooting happened on Deep Rock Circle around 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Police said a man was found with gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Police later identified the victim as 29-year-old Eric Brandon Howell.

Livingstone College confirmed Monday that Howell previously played basketball for the school. The college released the following statement about Howell’s death:

Dairon McGraw, a Livingstone College alum, said he was friends with Howell in college. He explained that the student-athlete was friendly and laidback.

“He’s that kind of person like when he’s around you, he just gives you so much of who he is, so much of his energy, so much of his time, so he will be deeply, deeply missed,” said McGraw.

WBTV learned Monday that Howell was still playing basketball for a local recreational league in Charlotte.

Justin Coble, a friend of Howell, said Howell was playing on his team in the Carolina International Basketball Association (CIBA).

Coble explained that Howell had a great personality, calling him both ‘funny’ and ‘hilarious’. He said Howell leaves behind two daughters.

“If he associated with you and he cared about you, he loved you, period,” explained Coble.

Coble spoke to WBTV in an interview Monday night. He said he and his teammates are still coming to grips with the fact that Howell was killed.

“(It’s) hard to explain, hard to understand, doesn’t seem real yet, but it’s gonna be a big spot missing on the bench where he would be,” said Coble.

It is unclear what happened that led to the deadly shooting that claimed Howell’s life. Both Coble and McGraw expressed frustration about the senseless violence that continues to plague communities across the country.

“Guarantee you that whatever the issue was, it wasn’t worth a life,” said Coble about his teammate’s death.

McGraw questioned how many people need to die before change happens regarding violence in America.

“We need to change something within the community. We need to get back to coming together and unifying as opposed to bringing each other down and killing each other,” said the Livingstone alum.

Anyone with information about Howell’s killing is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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