CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police have charged a man after an 11-year-old boy was shot and his 5-year-old brother was grazed by a bullet in Charlotte and rushed to the hospital Monday night.
The shooting happened around 5:46 p.m. Monday on Amity Pointe Road. When officers arrived, they found an 11-year-old boy who had been shot in the back of the head. The boy was taken to the hospital by Medic with life-threatening injuries.
A short time later, officers learned that an additional victim, the 5-year-old brother, had also been grazed by a bullet. That boy was also taken to the hospital by Medic as well, but with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say the brothers were playing with a pet rabbit on the balcony of an apartment when they were struck by the gunfire. They don’t believe the children were the intended targets, “but were rather struck by projectiles from a series of nearby gunfire.” Detectives say at least three apartments were struck by gunfire as well.
On Tuesday, CMPD charged 20-year-old Jatarius Jones with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Officers say the warrants were served on Jones while he was still in custody from previous charges in connection to an incident that happened that same day.
During a press conference on Wednesday, police said the 5-year-old boy had been released from the hospital.
The 11-year-old, police said, was still in the hospital with “not only a long physical recovery, but a long mental recovery ahead due to the reckless actions of one person” and has “one hell of a fight ahead of him.”
But they said “things are starting to look a lot more optimistic,” and asked that everyone keep the boys and their family in their thoughts and prayers.
Officers said members of the community coming forward played a “vital role” in making an arrest in the case. A person who will not be identified was able to give them a brief description of a suspect.
About an hour and a half after the shooting, police say a “road rage” shooting occurred at another location. Three arrests were made in that case - and two firearms seized - after a brief pursuit. Detectives then linked the two cases and were able to identify Jones as the suspect in the young brothers' shooting.
Many parents in the apartment complex said Tuesday, before Jones' arrest, they were fearful to let their kids play outside after the shooting.
“I was on the phone and I was talking and all I heard was pow pow pow," said one woman who wished to stay anonymous. “This is my first time, I just moved here. But to come to a new area and to only be here for awhile, it’s kind of scary.”
But for those who have lived there longer, this isn’t the first time they’ve dealt with the consequences of stray bullets.
Last August, several windows were shattered during a shooting at this same apartment complex. No one was hurt during that shooting.
Police went out and canvassed the areas for witnesses to potentially close the case - they did the same thing Tuesday.
“We’re trying to get on top of it now so it won’t happen to any other kids out here again," said Detective Adrian Johnson with Crime Stoppers.
Posters were taped up around the apartment complex asking for people to come forward. Johnson said they needed the community’s help to make an arrest.
“We want people to look at this case and imagine if it happened to their family and what they’d do or what they’d want someone else to do in the situation,” Johnson said. “We want to get out here and talk to as many people as we can. We want people to trust the crime stoppers process and help us with any leads to help solve this case.”
The previous incident that Jones was arrested for included shots fired into a vehicle at the intersection of West Sugar Creek Road and North Tryon Street Monday. That incident led to a brief chase and the arrest of two others, Dominique Daniels and Niyha Durham.
The investigation into this case is active and ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.