Body found in burned car ID'd, connected to Charlotte shooting

Published: Dec. 31, 2015 at 10:15 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2016 at 10:54 PM EST
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James Evans (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)
James Evans (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)
Norris Martin
Norris Martin

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A body found in a car in Gaston County is believed to be connected to a shooting in Charlotte Wednesday, police say.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have identified Norris Martin as the homicide victim. James Evans has been arrested in his death.

Police were investigating a shooting on Woodland Circle in Charlotte when they were notified of a vehicle fire on Warlick Academy in Ranlo Wednesday night. Officers say they found a body inside the vehicle, leading to a homicide investigation.

Police believe the cases are connected.

Officers responded to the north Charlotte shooting around 4:28 p.m., where they found a man, later identified as Jamal Robinson, suffering from a gunshot wound.

Robinson was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries, officials say.  The other offenses involved in the case include kidnapping and aggravated assault. Robinson told police he was taken to Woodland Circle against his will by four unknown men.

Neighbors in Charlotte say they're surprised to hear this crime happened so close to home.

"There's a lot more kids on this street now. A lot more families and children. Children live next door to where this happened, so it's shocking," said neighbor Taylor Ruble. "It didn't involve neighbors, it was two cars. The people in those cars exchanged gunfire, one person was shot, that person left the scene, ran and went down into the house further up, entered that house was shot in the chest. The neighbor then left that house went into our other neighbors' house."

Ruble says his neighbor called 911.

"He left the house because there was a man bleeding in his house, he was frightened," Ruble said.

While CMPD was investigating this case, Ranlo Police in Gaston County were called out to a car fire. Ranlo police say they caught James Evans trying to flee from the burning car.

CMPD believes the two crimes are connected and say this wasn't a random act of violence, and that those involved know one another.

Detectives have determined that the homicide occurred in Charlotte before Evans was arrested in Gaston County.  Evans has been charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, breaking and entering, possession of a firearm by a felon, and kidnapping.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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