Police identify fourth Charlotte homicide victim of 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man was shot to death Wednesday night in northwest Charlotte, marking the fourth homicide in the Queen City in the first four days of 2017.

IMAGES: Scene of Charlotte's fourth homicide of 2017

“Four is troubling,” Capt. Cecil Brisbon said. “One is troubling and quite frankly, we're trying to get to the bottom of all of those homicides.”

Police identified the victim as Jabari Sultan Stewart, who lived at the home on Stonefort Court, near Pleasant Grove Road.

Officials found the Stewart outside, near the neighbors yard, with a gunshot wound. They believe he was shot inside his home.

“It is a rough start to the year, but we're hopeful that things will get better for us,” CMPD Maj. Gerald Smith said. “It was a rough year for the department last year and the profession of law enforcement, but we have a feeling of being hopeful that things will get better."

A police report shows there may be three suspects involved in the shooting, and that the victim did not know them. The report does not indicate if those three have been arrested.

Officers have been busy investigating homicides to start 2017, with the first happening just 24 hours into the New Year.

Police said Natanael Rodriguez was shot and killed at apartments off Monroe Road in southeast Charlotte. Detectives have not identified a suspect, but believe the two knew each other.

Police are still searching for whoever shot and killed eighth-grader Anthony Frazier while he sat in a car in east Charlotte on Jan. 2.

In the early morning hours on Jan. 3, police said Michael Boone stabbed Shenika Simpson to death inside a home on Vancouver Drive in northeast Charlotte.

Records show that Boone was on parole and a registered sex offender. Investigators said Boone and Simpson knew each other.

“It seems like our humaneness is starting to get away from us, and we don't appreciate life,” Willie Ratchford with the Charlotte Community Relations Committee said.

Charlotte had a 17 percent jump in crime alongside Chicago at 9 percent in 2016, according to a study released by New York University.

The two cities led the way with crime increases last year, the study indicated.

“I don't want Charlotte to be mentioned in the same breath with Chicago, with the violence they have,” retired CMPD Detective Gary McFadden said.

McFadden has worked with community leaders and gang members to try and turn the rising tide of violence in Charlotte.

“We're going to have to go to the streets and go to the people and ask for this thing to be calmed down, and ask for some understanding,” McFadden said.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: