CMPD: High School Students May Be Linked To Deadly Drive-by Shooting And Other Crimes

CHARLOTTE, NC. — CMS High School students may be linked to a drive-by shooting on Richard Rozzelle drive that left 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa dead and his four-year-old sister with a gunshot wound, says detectives with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. Investigators believe these students may also be connected with another homicide on Trinity Road, where a 16-year-old was killed, and two other teenagers were shot, and several other shootings in the area.

“All of these cases have some relation to Hopewell High School, and there’s also, we believe, some connections to North Mecklenburg High School and Chambers, formerly Vance High School as well,” says CMPD Captain Joel McNelly.

Captain McNelly says these horrific crimes stem from simple disputes ending with teenagers taking lives. He’s urging parents at the three high schools to talk to their children, even go through their phones, rooms, and social media accounts if they have to.

“You should know whether or not your children were at home the last few nights. If your children were not at home the last few nights, overnight, we need to know that.”

WCCB requested an interview with CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston, but a district spokesperson sent a statement from Winston instead:

“Recent acts of violence involving and directed toward students assigned to attend Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools indicate a significant problem in our community. These horrific acts are another terrible reminder of how disruptions in lives have caused pain for many families here, including for many CMS students. Violence resulting in death is a result of that pain.

What is happening can be described as nothing short of a community in crisis. The time is now for us to join together to help address the underlying causes of this violence while at the same time getting guns and violent offenders off the streets. We must do all we can to divert our youth before further incidents result in injury and death and before they act in ways that can derail their futures.

We have reinstituted random screenings in our schools to discourage students from bringing weapons to our facilities and to find weapons before they can cause injury. We are working with community organizations on intervention programs and soon will share specifics.

We encourage everyone to consider how you can contribute to a community that addresses pain and suffering and deescalates the current crisis.”