WBTV said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings confirmed in a statement in the early hours of June 22 that a shooting occurred during a Juneteenth event at Catherine Simmons Avenue and Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte. The police said there was evidence of multiple shooters after nine people were shot, two of whom died.
Seven people are in hospital, and another five were hit by vehicles on the scene, with a total of 14 known victims, according to WBTV’s Anne Marie Hagerty.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police confirmed a homicide investigation on their official Twitter account in the early morning of June 22. The police said “one person has been pronounced deceased at the scene. Several other victims have been transported by Medic with gunshot wounds.”
A homicide at a different location, the 1300 Block of Varsity Lane, was also being investigated, police said.
Video taken from the third day of the Juneteeth Beatties Ford Road event at an “impromptu block party” was posted to social media at around 3 a.m. June 22 purporting to show the moment of the shooting, at around midnight June 22. Gunshots can be heard just after the 1:20:00 mark in the following video, as crowds scatter for their cars.
Shots can be heard in another video posted to the same account. The poster, Justin the Francois of Nerve Media Productions, says the video is from Friday June 19, where shots were also being fired into the air in a “less violent” incident. The poster also says witnesses reported seeing someone brandishing a “Kalashnikov-style rifle” in the crowd earlier in the evening.
Another video offers a different perspective of the unfolding scene. While the screen is blacked out, shots can be heard from the 9-minute mark. From the 14-minute mark, victims can be seen on the ground as medics are on the scene.
The witness describes two people shot in the head and “a young woman” in the middle of the street. He then tells emergency responders “you got three bodies down there.”
A police officer can be seen with a rifle at 19:00 minutes into the video. The witness then says “look at this crazy motherf**ker in the middle of the street with an assault rifle, pointed in our face.”
Other videos from the scene show what the posters say are wounded gunshot victims, medics administering CPR and victims who were deceased.
“The video shows that people continue to fire gunshots after officers have arrived on the scene. An officer enters the scene with a long gun, forcing people back instead of administering medical assistance,” one poster said.
Several videos posted on the scene earlier have since been removed.
Hagerty of WBTV News was on the scene reportedly speaking with family members of the deceased victim.
“Family members of one of a deceased victim just told me they are devastated to lose a loved daughter/niece, right after Father’s Day, in this senseless violence. They say they just buried a sister in January and this is too much,” she said on Twitter.
Hagerty posted further video of family arriving at the scene and said family members of the victims “could be heard crying out in the crowds still gathered around.”
Hagerty said witnesses told her “people were celebrating Juneteenth here on Beatties Ford all weekend. The celebration was happy, peaceful, positive. Some say then they saw drivers doing donuts in the road and driving fast. Shortly after shots went off and people started running.”
WSOC reported a “massive crime scene” with “several people shot.” Gina Esposito of WSOC confirmed five people had been hit by cars leaving the scene:
More information will be posted as this story develops.
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