2 charged with attempted murder after park shooting stemming from custody exchange

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Two men are charged with attempted murder after a domestic-related shooting at a Matthews park left three people hurt, police said.

Police said it happened around 12:15 p.m. Sunday at Windsor Park, which is off of Independence Boulevard near Matthews Township Parkway.

Michael McDonald, 23, and Christopher McDonald, 20, were taken into custody and each charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, two counts of felony conspiracy, and discharging a firearm in the town limits, investigators said.

Matthews police said they were called by a man who was in the car with his girlfriend at the park. He said he had just been shot by his girlfriend’s ex-husband and the ex-husband’s brother, who were both now following them. The caller said they followed them to the Novant hospital in Matthews and then left the area.

By Monday, police identified the ex-husband as Michael McDonald and his brother as Christopher McDonald.

A Matthews police officer on Matthews-Mint Hill Road found a car shortly after the 911 call that matched the description of the suspect’s car. The officer pulled the car over to a 7-Eleven and Exxon gas station about 6 minutes away from the park. It was there that the officer found out the driver had a “significant wound to the arm.” The officer used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

Inside the car, investigators also found the driver’s two children and brother. The driver, Michael McDonald, was taken to the hospital for treatment. He is currently in stable condition.

On Monday, Matthews police said Michael McDonald was released from the hospital for what they said were “injuries that were not consistent with a gunshot wound.”

Police believe the entire incident was isolated and stemmed from a domestic situation involving a child exchange that began in the parking lot of Windsor Park.

The original caller was treated and released from the hospital after being shot in the wrist, police said. The woman in the car with him was also treated and released after being hurt by shattered glass and a physical assault.

Noah Cunningham and Sarah Lagasse go to Windsor Park all the time and said they were stunned when they learned about the shooting.

“We just came here to take pictures and it could have been us. I’m just thankful we’re not around that right now,” Lagasse said.

“I mean we’re bringing a small family into the world, and coming out to a park just to enjoy time with our family. And you have a shooting that close to home, it’s never great,” Cunningham said.

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