Family mourns after 7-year-old boy fatally shot in Charlotte



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A 7-year-old boy was shot and killed Saturday night on Fieldvale Place during a family party, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

IMAGES: Scene where a 9-year-old boy was shot dead playing in a front yard

Two adults and another child were injured as well, according to officers.

Officials identified the boy as Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas.

The other three victims were not seriously injured and were treated at the scene.

A birthday party was taking place in the front yard when shots rang out, CMPD officials said.

A GoFundMe account was set up for the boy's family to help with medical expenses and the funeral. Click here for more information.

Analyssa Lopez dropped everything and rushed to her family's side on Fieldvale Place Saturday evening when she heard the news that her young cousin was dead.

"Everything happened right after the piñata broke. It's like the shots broke out too," Lopez said.

Kevin's uncle was shot in the leg and a bullet grazed his face. He was later released from the hospital. 

Kevin's mother was also rushed to the hospital in shock over losing her only son.

“I don't wish this on anyone,” Lopez said. “I want to let the shooters know that we're feeling the loss.”

Neighbor Beatrice Cunningham was home during the shooting and said several people, including children, were outside at the time.

"I actually got up and went into the house -- that's when the shots started firing," Cunningham said. "There was probably four or five. There was probably more than that. It sounded like (the gunman) was just pumping it. There was a woman was out here screaming."

Police initially said the victim was a 9-year-old girl. Later in the night, CMPD officials issued a correction that said the victim was a boy, and Sunday morning officials said the child was 7 years old.

“It’s a sad state of affairs. We have a lot of soul searching to do when as a city, and as a country, a (7-year-old boy) isn’t safe playing in (his) front yard,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

Police said they do not believe anyone at the party was involved in the shooting and that the gunshots came from outside the yard.

"I heard shots -- many shots," Santos Juarez told Channel 9. He had his own 18-month-old daughter in his arms and didn't see who was firing the shots but he showed Channel 9 where one of the bullets grazed his lower back.

He was standing about 5 or 6 yards away from the little boy who was shot and killed.

CMPD detectives are considering in their investigation that an illegal high-powered assault rifle may have been used in the shooting.

Authorities are looking for the people responsible. The motive of the shooting is unclear.

Neighbors told Channel 9 the street is a quiet one, especially because it's a dead-end street. They are shocked to know that someone would fire into a yard full of children.

"They're just a coward," neighbor Dennis Williams said. "They just don't care. (The kids) probably weren't the target, but (the suspects) did it. They don't have a heart. I mean, there were kids out here."

  • CLICK PLAY: CMPD discusses recent weekend violence

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A woman was shot and killed in the same neighborhood early Sunday morning, police told Channel 9.

READ MORE: 1 dead after second shooting near where child was killed, police say

Police were conducting an investigation where the boy had been fatally wounded when multiple shots were fired from nearby Echodale Drive shortly after midnight.

No arrests have been made.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Ten people shot and five killed over Labor Day weekend

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