Man found shot to death on trail behind recreation center, police say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are conducting a homicide investigation behind an east Charlotte recreation center after a man was found shot to death Friday morning.

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Officials said they received a call for a welfare check around 7:30 a.m. after someone discovered the body of 21-year-old Shakier Henderson while walking on a trail behind the Albemarle Road Recreation Center on Idlewild Road.

Officers said they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We did not receive any calls for service last night in this area but it is an area that officers are frequently patrolling,” said Maj. Ryan Butler, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Investigators set up a blue tent in the woods behind the center and could be seen canvassing the area where the body was spotted.

“My friend girl called me and she told me, ‘You’re not going to believe what happened, there’s a body in the back,'” a resident said. “There’s too many killings over here. We have children that should never be exposed like that at all.”

Officers told Channel 9 they don't know how long it's been since the victim was shot, but they hope their weekly police program at the center will help bring in leads.

"We have a very well-established relationship with the community here, so we’re hoping to be able to leverage that to obtain some witness information from individuals who’ve seen or heard anything," Butler said.

Channel 9 spoke to residents who live in the apartments near the recreation center, and they said they've seen a fair share of violence in the area over the last six months.

“I don’t know who it is yet. I hope it’s not one of my brothers,” resident Joshua Sanchez said. “Anybody could be walking through that path at night, and the next thing you know, boom.  Somebody could be waking up and seeing this again.”

Police didn’t say if the victim lived at the nearby apartments or why he may have been walking through the woods.

Residents say violence has plagued this community for months.

In April, a 24-year-old man was shot in the head but survived. In July, three teenagers were shot. In October, a 57-year-old man died after he was shot inside his apartment.

“It’s tragic, man,” Sanchez said. “We’ve got to wake up and come out and look at this in our neighborhood.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective.  Detective Overman is the lead detective assigned to the case.  The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit the Crime Stoppers website at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.

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

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