Crime then COVID: Charlotte man becomes victim of two epidemics

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the last year, Charlotte and many of its surrounding communities have faced two deadly threats: a virus and growing violence on the streets.

Donald Springs found himself at the intersection of both.

When Channel 9′s Mark Becker first met Springs, he was reeling from the murder of his stepdaughter. The day before, Kendal Crank was caught in the crossfire of a shootout on North Tryon Street.

Wrestling with grief and looking for a way to move forward, Springs decided to return to a passion he’d left behind.

Springs started coaching the North Carolina Giants, a team of 10 and 11-year-olds.

“He actually called me on the phone and he wanted the opportunity to coach,” coach Martell Mackey remembered.

The team traveled to Florida and won a national tournament, but two weeks later everything changed.

Springs got sick.

His wife Linda said his speech changed as well as his looks. He stopped eating.

Springs tested positive for coronavirus. On Dec. 28, he checked into the hospital, and on New Year’s Day he died.

>> In the video at the top of this page, reporter Mark Becker shares more about Donald Springs’ remarkable life, his tragic death and the legacy he’s left behind.