CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man was found dead with a gunshot wound in northeast Charlotte Friday morning.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the man was found just before 9:50 a.m. on a wooded trail in the 9100 block of Newell Baptist Church Road, near Newell Park.
On Saturday, CMPD identified the man as 19-year-old Damien Alonzo Mackins II and said the family had been notified of his death.
Just before noon police said they were investigating the death as a homicide.
Early on, investigators knew the cause of death. Police say the man's body was found near a walking trial at Newell Community Park, and that he had been shot.
Pastor Anthony Medlock is concerned, because the crime scene right behind his place of worship Resurrection Community Life Church sits on the Newell Baptist Church campus.
"We're at the place that all must be on alert,"Medlock said."So crime is increasing more."
That increase he speaks of points to the fact that our city saw a dramatic spike in last year's homicide numbers.
CMPD Major Mike Capaignia is calling this case both a death investigation and homicide, and for those seeking closure the early parts of their probe means understanding the geography of the crime scene.
"We don't where exactly where the crime happened at this point, we don't know how big the crime scene should be. There's a lot that happens slowly and methodically," Campiagna told reporters.
Newell Neighborhood Park is place that not just the police, but also representatives from the county coroners office carried out their search to narrow down the facts in this case to determine how and where a man died.
Meanhwile, Pastor Medlock isn't surprsised that a crime with such a violent outcome was discovered near his place of worship.
"Even the safer places are not considered safe any more."
Police spent five hours at the crime scene, and say this is still an active, ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.