‘He deserves better': 16-year-old shot in head was innocent victim, CMPD chief says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no link between a gunman and a 16-year-old who was shot to death inside a house in a northwest Charlotte neighborhood Wednesday morning, a source said.

The shooting happened just before 6 a.m. on Ohaus Court near Sunset Road.

When officers got to the neighborhood, they found the teenager, who had been shot in the head while sleeping on a couch.

Paramedics told Channel 9 the victim was pronounced dead when they arrived on the scene.

Police identified the victim as 16-year-old Jayvon Goolsby, a sophomore at Hopewell High School.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said the unsolved case is having a tremendous impact on his officers. He said the thought of a teenager not being safe in his own bedroom has really hit the department hard.

Jayvon Goolsby

(Jayvon Goolsby)

"Our detectives are working around the clock,” Putney said. “We're not going to rest until we bring somebody to justice. It's heartbreaking. Our heart goes out to the family. We have no indication that there were any issues, it's heartbreaking. He's 16 years old. He deserves better. The city deserves better. "

Police don't know why the home was targeted, and Putney said Jayvon was an innocent victim.

"I don't want anybody vilifying his character,” Putney said. “He was not that kind of kid. By all indications, he appears to be a very good kid. The 16-year old’s life was cut too short."

His family moved to Charlotte two years ago from New Jersey to get a fresh start.

"He was a good kid,” Jayvon’s father, Willie Goolsby, said. “All he wanted to do is have fun, joke around, make people laugh, go to school every day. He didn't bother nobody. Nobody bothered him."

There were at least six people inside the house at the time of the shooting, but no other injuries were reported.

Goolsby's aunt spoke with veteran crime reporter Glenn Counts and said she had been outside for a smoke break and just stepped inside when the shots rang out.

"When I walked in, my sister was upstairs. Her daughter went to the room to check on her son. He had gotten hit in the head, and they couldn't save him," Brenda Taylor said.

She and police said Goolsby was upstairs on a couch sleeping when the shooting happened.

“The bullet hit him in the head and he died,” Taylor said. “This is crazy. We don't know what happened."

Police said an unknown suspect walked up to the home and fired shots before leaving the area.

Officers believe the house was targeted. They said they don't know if the teen was the target, though.

"Sixteen years old,” Jayvon’s father said. “Friday was his last day at school, now he's gone. Now, I have to sit here and bury my son."

CMPD Major Allan Rutledge said the neighborhood is not an area where they typically have issues. He added the department also doesn't usually see violent offenses around 6 a.m.

"It is certainly unusual, but I want to reiterate, we firmly believe someone knows something regarding this shooting and we encourage them to come forward.

No arrests have been made.

"Just come forward,” Jayvon’s aunt, Nyiee Linyear, said. “Just come forward. He was innocent, too -- innocent. Just come forward with something, anything."

The slaying marks Charlotte's 54th homicide of 2019.

Rutledge said with the number of homicides and shooting incidents this year, the department is frustrated.

"We firmly believe that people know things regarding these shootings we are having that are not coming forward," Rutledge said. "We encourage them to call Crimestoppers with any information."

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