Charlotte police officers were busy this weekend after five people were killed and five others were hurt in shootings over Labor Day weekend in North Carolina. One of those shootings occurred Saturday and involved the death of a 7-year-old child. Another child and two adults were injured as well.
The boy was killed during a birthday party around 9 p.m. in a front yard in southwest Charlotte, Associated Press reports. Officers received several calls just before the incident on Saturday night. When they arrived on the scene, the boy was still alive.
Medics transported Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. A different child and two adults were injured and treated on the scene for non-life threatening injuries, USA Today reports.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said in a news conference Sunday that the community had a lot to reflect upon in the wake of this Labor Day weekend tragedy.
“It’s a sad state of affairs in the city and our country when a 7-year-old boy can’t be free to celebrate a birthday party without being murdered,” Estes said. He added that the community had “a lot of soul searching to do.”
Police have not identified any suspects or motives in the death of Rodas. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers are still investigating the area.
Additionally, police have not discovered the cause of the three other shootings this weekend, according to Estes. Officials called in officers from vacations and days off to help investigate, patrol and search for illegal guns, AP reports.
Estes called the spark in violence an “absolute tragedy.” “We will not rest or not stop until we do everything we can to put a stop to it,” Estes said.
While the officers were looking into the Rodas shooting, authorities claimed they heard shots nearby roughly three hours later. A woman was found dead and a man was injured in a drive-by shooting.
Police also found a man shot to death on Saturday after another died in the hospital from gunshot wounds over the weekend. And another man was found dead from gunshot wounds Sunday.
Estes said that it is too early to determine if the deaths are connected. “I can tell you what connects them is it is a senseless, tragic loss of life,” Estes said.