• CMPD investigating 4 homicides over Memorial Day weekend

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One person was killed and another injured in a shooting at a north Charlotte motel on Memorial Day morning, police said.

    [IMAGES: Man shot to death at north Charlotte motel]

    Officers were called to the scene at the Travel Inn on Reagan Drive around 5:30 a.m. and found two males inside a room on the second floor.

    Police told Channel 9 that Bobby Wesley Jr., 23, was pronounced dead at the scene and that a 16-year-old boy was assaulted during the incident and suffered minor injuries.

    “We're interviewing witnesses now, but it's very early in the homicide investigation,” said Maj. Coerte Vorhees, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

    Derrick Mitchell, a witness, said that just before 6 a.m. he saw a young man with no shirt on who appeared to be injured.

    He said that moments later, two men ran towards a white SUV.

    “They jumped in the SUV and hauled tail and went that way toward Graham Street,” Mitchell said.

    Details surrounding the shooting have not yet been released, but Channel 9 watched as officers focused their investigation on the second floor of the building.

    Police arrested Danigel Cowan, 16, in connection with the case. Cowan has been charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.


    Channel 9 spoke with a housekeeper who said the motel has had private security on hand trying to protect people from the serious problems they've seen in the past.

    "There's so much trouble, you know? The drugs, the prostitutes. They're trying to keep all that out," said Judy Hunt.

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    The slaying happened along Sugar Creek corridor -- an area where police have had success lately in reducing violent crimes.

    “Our young generation ain't getting no place with this killing,” Mitchell said. “They need to stop the violence.”

    “It's a holiday weekend, and people had some time off,” Voorhees said. “We don't know the factors of each individual one, but obviously people resort to violence to solve disputes or whatever other issues they have.”

    Homicide rate spikes over holiday weekend

    Memorial Day weekend added a spike in Charlotte's already high homicide rate.

    Police are investigating four murders since Friday.

    The ongoing violence has taken its toll on families across the city.

    Adrienne Harris, whose son Tyshaud Brown was shot and killed on an elementary school playground two months ago, said holidays are painful without her son.

    Police have yet to find Brown’s shooter.

    “It's still tough,” Adrienne Harris said. “It's bearable to the point where I don't get up every morning and cry all day long.”

    Three more families are sharing Harris’ pain this weekend.

    Julian Ray Williams, 35, was murdered inside an uptown apartment.

    Police have made an arrest in that case, but they are still looking for the person who shot and killed Anderson Biggers Jr., 22, outside a grocery store Saturday night.

    Wesley Jr., 23, was killed at a motel off Sugar Creek Road Monday morning.

    The four homicides bring the city's total this year to 36, nearly twice as many as last year at this time.

    “You want to do your best to stop it,” said Sharmese Smith, of Dream Team for Peace. “It hurts, like legit. Even if you don't know these people, your heart bleeds.”

    Smith is a member of a group that's tackling the violence in places like Sugar Creek Road where she said the answers have to start not with police, but with the people who are living and dying.

    “We cry out why our reality is looking the way it is,” Smith said. “Well, it's because we're not making a stand. We know what's right. Let's do what's right.”

    Daveon Andrews was fatally shot on Rozzelles Ferry Road near Oregon Street in west Charlotte Monday night. That case is under investigation by homicide detectives. 

    Of those 36 homicides, 13 remain unsolved.

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