CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials put West Charlotte High School on lockdown Thursday afternoon because of a deadly shooting that took place in the area.
[IMAGES: West Charlotte HS placed on lockdown due to deadly shooting]
Officials with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said officers responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call Thursday around 1:06 p.m. in the 2400 block of Kendall Drive, where they found a man with a gunshot wound.
Authorities said the shooting victim, 41-year-old Jay Phifer, was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.
Representatives of the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Homicide Prosecution Team, Special Investigations, Homicide Support and Operations Command also responded to the scene, officials said.
Detectives said the shooting happened near West Charlotte High School, but is not related to the school. The lockdown was lifted just before 2 p.m.
Chopper 9 arrived at the scene and saw a heavy police presence and what appeared to be more than a dozen evidence markers in the middle of the street.
Channel 9 learned that Phifer was found dead outside a home across the street from a recreation center. Officials said the recreation center is not connected to the incident.
Channel 9 was told that police believe the suspect fired at Phifer from a stopped vehicle before speeding away.
Police said they didn’t know how many shots were fired, but Channel 9 reporter Greg Suskin said shell casings were all over Kendall Drive outside of the West Charlotte Recreation Center.
Neighbors told Channel 9 they heard dozens of gunshots.
Sandra Byrum said she was visiting family on Senior Drive and saw a car go racing by just after the shooting.
"We heard, first it sounded like firecrackers, then we realized it was gunshots,” Bynum said.
Antingo Crowder, who saw the victim face down in the driveway, said his fiance was with him.
"She was screaming and asking for somebody to call the ambulance and I just ran down there to console her,” Crowder said. "People were running down the street, so we walked down there and I saw the guy laying on the side of the vehicle on the ground."
During a Thursday news conference, CMPD officials said they believe multiple guns were used in the shooting.
Police said bullets nearly hit two nearby houses on Kendall Drive.
"There was quite a bit,” Maj. Gerald Smith, of CMPD, said. “We believe the shooters were extremely motivated to put down that many rounds."
CMPD officials said crime scene investigators have processed the scene and collected physical evidence.
Detectives said they’re canvassing the area near the shooting to determine whether there were any witnesses to the incident.
The investigation is active and ongoing, officials said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Check back with wsoctv.com for more on this developing story.
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