Family, Activists Ask Leaders To Stop Growing Violence

CHARLOTTE, NC — Family of victims and community activists are calling on city leaders and law enforcement to do more to stop growing violence in Charlotte.

An alarming number of shootings involve teenagers, police say.

School is almost out for Summer. So, activists fear the crime will only go up from here if we don’t plan ahead.

Monday night, the family planned a funeral for 19-year-old Gavino Romero, shot and killed on Perth Court in East Charlotte.

“No one can get out of the house right now. They don’t even want to talk,” said Kaitlin Womack.

Womack is his childhood friend. She spoke for the family.

“It has not felt real yet,” she told WCCB Charlotte.

He’s one of 10 people shot, three killed, since Saturday in Charlotte.

Romero lived in Monroe with his parents and siblings.

“A lot of people passing away, they’re young. They’re my age,” said Womack.

The suspects in Romero’s murder are two 15-year-olds, 18-year-old Chadwick Pearson and 19-year-old Primitivo Carreto.

“It hurts my heart just to know that they are willing to give up their whole entire life in a few seconds,” said Donnell Gardner.

Gardner and Team Trublue say the answer is mentoring.

“We need to focus more on prevention. We have to catch them early and stay with them,” said Gardner. “A kid out here with no hope, that’s a problem.”

And when he shows up, the kids cling to him.

“Just because I’m here to spend a little time with them,” he said.

Team Trublue visits the kids at school, provides summer camps to keep kids out of crime, all with no funding.

To really make a dent, Team Trublue says city council must also fund projects.

Until then, they fear more families will plan funerals they never expected.

“I’m brokenhearted,” said Womack. “I can’t even explain my feelings.”

Team Trublue needs donations, and Romero’s family needs help paying for his funeral.

To find out how to contact Team Trublue, call (704) 654-5213 or click here.

To donate to Romero’s funeral fund, click here.