CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A community held a vigil Wednesday night and tried to console a family that lost a child to gunfire over Labor Day weekend, while police tried to ease people's worries during a community meeting with neighbors caught in the middle of an investigation into possible gang violence.
Eyewitness News reporter Jenna Deery was there with family, police and concerned residents to hear their pleas for justice.
A large crowd turned out at Marshall Park holding hands and praying for this city rattled by the violence.
Family members demanded justice after 7-year-old Kevin Rodas was killed on Saturday during a birthday party on Fieldvale Place.
Read more of our coverage:
- CMPD: 7-year-old boy shot dead, 3 others shot including another child
- 1 dead after second shooting near where child was killed, police say
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- Man shot in leg in SW Charlotte is weekend's 12th shooting victim
“For a person to not reach the age of 10 and be murdered in stone-cold blood, I just think we need to do something to prevent these acts of violence,” said Albert Carter, Million Youth March organizer.
The family was supported by the group Mothers of Murdered Offspring at the vigil.
Across town, another mother raised concerns about the safety of her children playing outside.
“I told them, ‘You are not going no more to run outside until everything gets clear,'” the mother said at a community meeting at Ebenezer Pentecostal Church.
Leaders from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department met with the group to talk about the seven shootings over Labor Day weekend.
“It shows them that we know that you are scared,” Capt. Chris Dozier said. “We know the emotions that you are feeling right now.”
Officers didn’t have much information to give about the investigation and said they need more information. They are encouraging the community to speak up.
“It may be the one piece,” Dozier said. “The one key information we need to make arrests in those cases.”
Police assured citizens they will continue increased patrols.
Services for two of the victims are scheduled for this weekend.
There will be a joint public viewing for Laquanta Young and 7-year-old Kevin Rodas from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Rosedale Funeral Parlor on Central Avenue.
Rodas’ funeral will be at the Rosedale Funeral Parlor and Young’s funeral will be at the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, both on Sunday.
Crimestoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information in the shootings, 704-334-1600.
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