‘Crime magnet’: Neighbors calling on city to shut down McDonald’s in south Charlotte

A shooting took place in the parking lot in October, a homicide in November and another homicide in March.
Almost 500 calls to police have been made at a McDonald's on South Boulevard over the past five years.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 8:14 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The entrance to the Starmount neighborhood in south Charlotte is feet away from a McDonald’s along South Boulevard at the intersection where Starbrook Drive meets east Arrowood Road.

Some neighbors said the McDonald’s has become a ‘crime magnet’, and they’re concerned what it’s attracting to their neighborhood.

“It’s an ideal place to live, but what’s going on up there at that intersection is scary,” Margaret Howell, who has lived in Starmount for decades, said.

Crime data shows 10 assault with a deadly weapon calls at the address of the McDonald’s since 2020.

Over the past six months there was a shooting in October, a homicide in November and another homicide in March.

“I don’t go there anymore,” one woman, who asked not to reveal her full identity, said.

The woman said she still lives in fear after she was caught in the crossfire of the shooting in the McDonald’s parking lot in October.

“We were in the outside lane and I was next and I had just stopped in front of the speaker and I heard bum bum bum and I thought maybe there were fireworks,” she said.

She quickly realized someone had shot into her car and the bullet grazed her arm.

“All of the sudden I felt this pain in my arm,” she said.

City councilman Tariq Bokhari, who represents the area, said he believes it’s a much larger issue beyond this business.

“These things are happening more and more, people carrying guns and settling squirmishes and arguments with guns, because they think that’s what we’re gonna allow in this community,” Bokhari said.

He’s calling for more after school and summer programs for youth and tougher punishments from the judicial system.

“Somebody was caught, processed and let go within 45 minutes, did it again, caught again, there are all those things that clearly have to be fixed,” he said. “At it’s core it starts with setting the tone we’re gonna stand up and we’re not gonna accept it anymore.”

Bokhari said there are some nuisance abatement procedures to close down businesses in the city but they are used as a last resort.

WBTV requested a comment from McDonald’s but did not receive a response.

Related: ‘Why?’: Father of McDonald’s employee killed in shooting asks as push for answers continue