• Woman recounts argument leading to grandson's death

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Patricia Crawford is still trying to piece together the puzzle a day after her grandson, Degarrion “Gary” Coleman, pulled out a gun and shot her.

    Immediately following that, a neighbor who saw the incident shot Coleman in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood.

    CMPD: Homeowner shot, killed man who'd already shot woman

    “It was something that started up in November, just all of a sudden,” Crawford said Wednesday at her home in northwest Charlotte.

    She said that Coleman was a former soldier and proud father who had been in and out of mental hospitals since November.

    She said he called her Tuesday morning to pick him up in the Belmont neighborhood, but once he got in the car, he appeared agitated and said he didn’t recognize her.

    “And his eyes got big as a 50 cent (coin) and he said, ‘You’re not my grandma, you’re not my grandma.’”

    Crawford said Coleman had never been violent so she was shocked when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at her.

    “He like slid back, pulled the gun out and cocked it. And I'm like, ‘Oh my God,’ and he said, ‘You are not my grandmama. You are not my grandmama.’”

    Once she saw the gun, Crawford said she jumped out of the car, which rolled into a power pole. She said Coleman jumped out the passenger door and came after her.

    “I heard it, pow! And I said, ‘Oh my God. He shot me.'” she said.

    The bullet went into her calf just missing the bone. She was injured but still tried to talk Coleman down, suggesting that she would take him to mental health.

    That’s when Steve Sellers, a former Mecklenburg County assistant district attorney, came out of his house with a gun and saw the confrontation.

    Crawford said she was crouching behind a car when she heard a second shot, and Coleman turned.

    “I heard pow, when I heard the pow, and my grandson ran toward me and said, ‘Oh, you're shooting at me.’ And he started shooting at me again,” she said.

    Crawford said she could have been shot again, or even killed, if Sellers hadn’t fired the final shot.

    “Then when I turned around again, he shot him, he fell, then he stood over him.

    I started crying. I said, ‘Look, you already shot, so don't shoot. Don't kill my grandson.’ And he looked up at me and looked at my grandson, and he walked away,” Crawford said.

    Crawford said Sellers did not fire again and was still there when police arrived and told him to put the gun down.

    Police have not finished their investigation, and once they do, they will turn it over to prosecutors who will decide if Sellers should face charges.

    Crawford said she does not blame Sellers for shooting her grandson and said he may have saved her life, but she wishes it could have ended differently.

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