CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Five people were shot at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.
The shooting happened shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Officers said a person fired multiple rounds into a crowd, hitting five people.
“You definitely can see the difference between fireworks and that gunshots so yeah, it was crazy,” Charlotte resident Edgu Gelvez said.
All five were shot below the knee and had injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, according to the CMPD.
Officers said the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Daevion Crawford, was taken into custody shortly after. He was charged with five counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count of going armed to the terror of people.
Crawford was given a $750,000 bond, according to the CMPD. Officers said he was not deemed to be an active shooter.
Some residents told WBTV they no longer feel safe going to evening events in uptown.
“You don’t know when you’re going to be involved in that kind of situation,” Gelvez said.
CMPD could not be reached for comment on Monday.
But in July 2023, when 32 people were arrested in the same park after fights broke out and shots were fired, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said “Perception is reality because if they don’t feel safe, they’re not going to take advantage of some of the great events that we do have. We want to reverse that.”
As the new year begins, residents said they hope the city will find ways to make events at Romare Bearden Park safe again.
“This is a terrible way to start. But hopefully this is a lesson and a chance for people to kind of wake up and realize, like, ‘Oh, we don’t need to be shooting each other. You know, a lot of stuff we shooting and killing each other over is miniscule. It’s not a big thing,’” Charlotte resident Paul Deberry said. “So we need to wake up, start valuing lives more, value our own lives more and just start being more aware of everything that’s going on around us.″
“Why do you feel like you need to do that? Like, is it? Is it really that serious?” Deberry said. “If you get in a fight, people should be walking away. But when you start playing with guns and stuff, you dealing, you got somebody’s lives right there in the palm of your hands.”
The shooting also provoked a conversation about gun laws on New Year’s Day.
“Why do you feel like you need to have a gun? And then the second thing would be, we got to learn gun safety and gun control if you’re going to have a gun,” Deberry said. “If you’re going to get a gun, you need to educate yourself on how to use it and make sure you’re emotionally stable enough to have a gun. So you’re not going out here just shooting people just because you mad for no reason.”
Meanwhile, others said guns only lead to violence.
“How people can just be allowed to use weapons? I think it’s not safe at all,” Gelvez said. “No guns for anyone. They need to just prohibit the guns for everybody.”
Residents said they hope CMPD will ramp up patrol at community events.
“Just walking around, people can see there’s [an] officer. People can see that they can feel safe,” Gelvez said.
Deberry had another idea.
“Other than just constantly patrolling, more patrolling. The other thing I can think of is just getting a better understanding of your community, make sure the police have a good relationship with the people that’s inside the community. So they know, you know, kind of the ins and outs what’s going on. So they kind of be aware of it beforehand.”
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