Crime

CMPD: January 2019 homicides count nearly double 2018

A bloody weekend left Charlotte-Mecklenburg with 11 homicides so far in 2019, nearly double last year’s pace.

Three people died over the weekend, police said at a news conference Monday. It’s too early in the year to discern trends in the slayings, officials said.

Six homicide victims had died by this time last year and nine in 2017, Lt. Brad Koch told reporters. The 11 people killed so far this year all died from gunfire.

“Anecdotally, I don’t think I see a trend,” homicide Lt. Bryan Crum added. “It’s still early in the year … so it’s kind of hard to say what the trend is.”

On Sunday evening, police arrived at a convenience store on Mallard Creek Road, in the University City zone, to find 36-year-old Patrick Alonzo Alston dead of a gunshot wound. No arrests have been made, Crum said Monday, but investigators believe they have identified everyone involved in the incident.

Friday night, police officers found two women with gunshot wounds inside a car on Wynbrook Way in north Charlotte. Harriet Witherspoon Cromartie, 63, was pronounced dead at the scene and the second woman was hospitalized.

Investigators believe the vehicle in which Cromartie was shot was targeted, Crum said, but that Cromartie herself was not the target. Detectives later charged Nazah Raine James, 20, with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and discharging a firearm into occupied property.

About an hour after that shooting, officers responded to a call on Lawyers Road, in Hickory Grove, to find Christopher Jamil Moore, 22, lying wounded from a gunshot in a parking lot. Moore died at a hospital.

No arrests have been made, Crum said Monday, but added that investigators have substantial leads and physical evidence in the case.

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