CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some Charlotte neighborhoods are living in fear because of gunplay in which innocent bystanders were forced to duck for cover or run for their lives.
Shooting into occupied property is a problem that police have seen a lot of lately.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it has investigated 305 shootings into occupied dwellings already this year.
Officers held a news conference Wednesday to highlight the issue, saying several of these cases have involved innocent children.
Most of the shooters are teenagers, some as young as 14 years old, police said.
Police said some of the disputes begin over issues such as name-calling.
On July 4, more than 60 rounds of bullets were fired on Jordans Pond in northwest Charlotte.
"Well, it was frightening,” a resident said.
A month later, the bullet holes remain in some of the houses.
"I knew in my mind or felt in my mind it was gunfire and it was very close,” a resident said.
"Those bullets don't have names,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Sgt. Steven Fishback. “They don't have GPS."
CMPD announced a new initiative to tackle the problem.
Two weeks ago, a task force was formed to investigate shootings into occupied property. The task force has arrested nine people and taken seven guns off the street.
"This is very much gang-like behavior,” Fishbach said.
The task force will investigate those types of shootings and track the people who are involved.
Police said that no innocent people have been killed, but two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, were wounded.
Part of the danger is that police have seen an increase in assault weapons used in these incidents.
"Those rounds are penetrating metal, wood, going through homes,” Fishbach said.
CrimeStoppers has increased the reward to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest in cases of shootings into occupied dwellings. Anyone with information can call (704) 334-1600.
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