911 calls released after mother shot, killed driving to nursing school

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have released the 911 calls after a young mother was shot and killed while driving on a north Charlotte street last week.

The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. last Thursday, and from Chopper 9 SkyZoom dozens of police cars could be seen swarming the intersection of North Tryon Street and East 28th Street.

When officers arrived at the chaotic scene, they found 27-year-old Kendal Crank suffering from a gunshot wound inside a vehicle that crashed on 28th Street.

The 911 calls released by CMPD captured the chaotic scene and uncertainty of drivers on North Tryon Street during rush hour traffic last Thursday afternoon.

(LISTEN BELOW: 911 calls released)

Police said there were multiple 911 calls made during the shooting.

One 911 caller described the scene like "a gunfight in the parking lot" in the middle of rush hour traffic on North Tryon Street.

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"They just had a shootout over here and somebody is screaming. You need to get somebody here now, fast," a 911 caller said.

"There were about five or six shots. I saw the man, literally parallel to me in the parking lot. He was kneeled behind a car firing shots," another 911 caller said. "It's 5 o'clock, we're in traffic and shots are just ringing out -- like five or six."

(LISTEN BELOW: 911 calls released)

Another 911 caller told police about Crank, who had been shot while driving on North Tryon Street.

"We have a girl shot, she's dead," the 911 caller said.

The 911 dispatcher said MEDIC and police were on the way to the scene.

MEDIC pronounced Crank dead at the scene. Channel 9 learned she was on her way to nursing school when she was shot.

On Friday, police announced the arrest of three suspects. They said 22-year-old Tychicus Dobie, 17-year-old Adonis Smith and 24-year-old Marquis Smith are charged with murder.

Authorities said Dobie, Adonie Smith, and Marquis Smith are set to face a judge Monday.

Detectives told Channel 9 they are not looking for any other suspects at this time, but they still want to hear from witnesses.

"I want to again just reiterate that fact that our community is really critical in solving these cases and we still need witnesses to come forward," CMPD Lt. Bryan Crum said.

(WATCH: Kendal Crank's stepfather speaks with Channel 9)

Authorities said Crank was traveling along 28th Street at North Tryon Street when she drove through a gunfight and was killed by a stray bullet.

"That makes things even more tragic is the fact that she was just doing what everybody else does on any other day of the week," Crum said. "Somebody's there one minute and they're gone the next? There's no easy way to tell somebody that."

Police said they believe Crank was not the intended target, and witnesses told officers they saw several men shooting at each other near the intersection at the time of the incident.

Investigators think there may have been two groups of people exchanging gunfire and that they scattered before officers arrived.

Bullet casings were found on the ground all around the area.

Police said the narrative, in this case, is not far off from what they have been dealing with other homicides this year -- instead of trying to work through their issues, people have been repeatedly turning to guns.

"Certainly it's tragic when anyone dies, but to have someone who was just driving by," CMPD Major Mike Campagana said.

Crank was the mother of two young children -- a 9-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Her stepfather, Donald Springs, told Channel 9 he wants to forgive those responsible for the murder but that it's too soon and still too painful.

Kendal Crank

(Kendal Crank)

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney spoke exclusively to Channel 9 reporter Glenn Counts after a community relations forum Thursday evening. The chief said he wishes more people would get upset about this kind of senseless violence.

>> We first updated WSOCTV news app users with a notification just before 6 p.m. Thursday that the police were investigating this homicide. Download the WSOCTV news app for your smartphone and get updates on this developing story as they come in.

"Here's what it says to me, and I'm frustrated by it because the only time people really want to get upset is when police are involved," Putney said. "What I'm saying is that's what we can't tolerate. We can't have somebody innocent caught in the crossfire, potentially, and why are we resorting to gun violence so quickly? It's young people continuing to make bad decisions. We got to break that cycle."

Springs said he was proud of his stepdaughter, describing her as a mom and a nursing student with a life full of promise.

Springs said his wife was the one who called to tell him Crank had been shot.

"She said, 'Donald you need to go down there to Bojangles' on North Tryon, Kendal's been shot,'" Springs said. "When I got there, oh my God. Blue lights, caution tape, just that whole scene was unreal. It was real, I should say. I ran through the tape, was stopped by three or four police officers and I said, 'This is my daughter, I need to get closer.' And the closer I got I was told I could not enter in this part of the crime scene."

Springs said officers called Friday morning saying they had made arrests in the case. He said their family is a family of faith, but it is hard to find right now.

"I don't know if I'm ready now. I want to understand what he was thinking," Springs said.

[The family has set up this GoFundMe page to help with expenses]

Crank's father's best friend, Johnny King, said he drove to the scene as soon as he got the call and walked several more blocks to get as close as he could.

"I feel like I lost a daughter myself," King said. "She's a good girl. She was working and going to college, had two kids. You know, a good girl."

Community members, friends, and family gathered Friday afternoon to hold a vigil to honor 27-year-old Kendal Crank, but the goal was also to help prevent more lives from being lost over another senseless crime.

"We have to start looking inside ourselves and ask is this violence worth it? The randomness of the incident that happened hits home because it could have been any of us," community member Dee Rankin said.

The leader of Project BOLT Gemini Boyd said he helped organize the vigil to honor Clark, but to also show support for her family and friends now left with an unbearable loss.

Crank's friend Tierra McDonald described her has a "beautiful person inside and out."

"She was just a beautiful person inside and out and losing her just hurts so much," McDonald said.

Community members said the hope now is that they can come together to start making a more positive change.

"Unity means get off your island, get on your boat, and let's all come together and stand together in solidarity," community member Tia Brown said.

"Everybody has to do what they do and do it well. That's one way. I'm trying to get the city and we have partners out here because I see you guys," City Councilmember Braxton Winston said.

Officials said after the shooting, a man showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm. Investigators are looking into the possibility that man was hit during the same shooting, according to CMPD.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.

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