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Neighbors in Preston Village concerned about teen with gun, lack of police help

“What we want is for someone to just step up and really take the calls that are being made by the neighbor seriously before something happens that is more serious.”
Neighbors fear violence will only escalate if the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or the parents of the person responsible for the gun don’t intervene.
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 1:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - People living in Preston Village reached out to WBTV about random gunfire near Hornets Nest Elementary School.

Neighbors fear violence will only escalate if the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or the parents of the person responsible for the gun don’t intervene.

Larry Gandy said traditionally it’s been a “pretty quiet neighborhood,” but neighbors have lately heard a more menacing sound.

“There were several shots fired in our community,” Reeva Washington said.

Neighbors called police again on April 4 about shootings throughout the day, with bullets fired yards from the nearby elementary school.

“I’m just walking on eggshells in my own home and it’s a sad day for me to have to do that,” Washington said.

WBTV obtained CMPD’s calls for service report revealing several shots fired calls, a suspicious person and trespassing all on Craven Hill Drive that day, but no police reports were filed. Neighbors say police claim there’s little they can do because the person is a juvenile.

“His crime is going to start escalating and it’s going to be to the point where he has a gun, he’s test firing it, and he’s going to start using it in some actual crime, and that’s what I’m afraid of,” said Washington.

“What we want is for someone to just step up and really take the calls that are being made by the neighbor seriously before something happens that is more serious,” Gandy said.

One advocacy group believes the community should reach out to them first instead of calling the police.

“The first thing we need to do is come in ourselves, and we believe the phrase ‘nobody can save us from us, but us,” James Barnett, founder of Stop the Killing Crusade, said.

Members of Stop the Killing Crusade believe they can walk into a community without police intervention to help steer young lives from violence.

“That one child that’s doing all the shooting belongs to the village and need to come in and try to save that particular child. We need to come in as a community, and some people in the community we can’t reach, that’s where you need the police to come in,” Barnett said.

WBTV reached out to CMPD about the shooting concerns in that neighborhood, and are still awaiting a response.

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