Suspect in custody after shooting spree in Charlotte, sources say

CHARLOTTE — UPDATE: On Thursday, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced that a teenager was arrested in connection with the shooting spree earlier this week that rattled the Queen City.

>>For updates on this story, click here.


A gunman who randomly targeted people early Tuesday morning in Charlotte still has not been caught.

A deadly shooting at about 1:05 a.m. on Statesville Avenue started the 30-minute rampage, officials with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

Mustaffa Muhammad, 58, was shot and killed inside his car on Statesville Avenue. Loved ones said he was returning home from work.

By the time the dust settled, there were four more shootings ending with someone being shot at an apartment complex.

Family living in fear

The Sandoval’s apartment on Nations Ford Road was riddled with bullet holes by the time the shooting spree was over at about 1:25 a.m.

“It was awful. That was awful,” said Leticia Sandoval, a resident.

Sandoval said one round went through a wall, feet above the bed where her daughter was sleeping.

“It’s a miracle,” Sandoval said. “It’s a miracle. Only God was here to save us.”

They don’t feel safe.

“I’m afraid to go to the grocery store,” she said.

And their daily routines have been disrupted.

“We can’t sleep,” Sandoval said. “We can’t eat. Since yesterday, I’ve been very nervous.”

The Sandovals said they hope the police catch whoever is responsible before they strike again.

“I just want to tell the person who is doing this to put his hand on his heart and think about what he is doing,” Sandoval said.

Shooting spree continues

Minutes later, police said someone drove up to a group of people outside on Catherine Simmons Avenue and started shooting.

A round struck a woman inside her apartment.

She told Channel 9 on the phone Wednesday that she was shot in the shoulder and the bullet is still lodged inside her.

A man told Channel 9 he was nearly shot on Catherine Simmons Avenue.

“I was blessed,” he said. “I serve an awesome God.”

Rounds from the gun barely missed him, hitting his drink containers.

“I heard shots going by me,” he told Channel 9. “So, I felt a tingling in my hand. I thought I might have gotten nicked or something. When I looked at my hand then when I looked at the can and the bottle, the can, the top was blown off and the liquor bottle had a hole in it.”

Police said minutes later, a bicyclist was also shot at along LaSalle Street. Gunfire hit a man’s car along the same street, too.

Canvassing neighborhoods

CMPD has stepped up patrols as the crimes remain a high priority for the force.

On Wednesday, investigators were back in the neighborhoods where the shootings happened.

They double-checked to ensure that no evidence was missed and to see if doorbell cameras caught a glimpse of the suspect or suspects.

The same caliber of ammunition was used in the four shootings, sources indicated.

However, the type of round is very common and can be fired from a multitude of hand and long guns.

>> Crime Stoppers is offering up to $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in this investigation.

Officers have advised residents in those neighborhoods to stay inside after dark.

Alternatives to Violence

“We’re not accepting this gun violence in the city of Charlotte, on Beatties Ford (Road). We’re not accepting that as normal,” said Roosevelt Brooks, with Youth Advocates Program’s Alternatives to Violence.

The organization has been active in the Beatties Ford Corridor for several years.

The group was at Catherine Simmons Avenue sending a hopeful message to residents as a part of a 72-hour response to violence, handing out water and talking to people.

“We know a lot of these people in this community,” Brooks said. “We are very familiar with them. They are familiar with us, so we can call it love. We don’t just call it a service. We are spreading love, man, and letting them know they are not alone.”

VIDEO: CMPD offers $10K reward for info after deadly shooting spree

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.

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