9 Shot, 5 Struck by Cars, 2 Dead in North Carolina: Officials

June 22, 2020 Updated: June 22, 2020

Two people were fatally shot, seven were wounded, and five were injured by vehicles after a block party in Charlotte, North Carolina, said officials.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings said police responded to Beatties Ford Road near Catherine Simmons Avenue at around 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning for a car crash, WRAL reported.

When officers arrived, hundreds of people were still gathered for an “impromptu block party” that went all weekend long to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States, according to police.

“Several people got into the streets. It was a continuation,” Deputy Chief Jennings said, according to the station. “They had a celebration here that was planned and organized earlier this week on Friday that just continued on into tonight. The results of it got out of hand.”

Jennings added the shootings and deaths are “something that we never want to see as a community or a police department.”

Gunfire erupted after police and medics responded to the crash, officials told WSOC. Shortly after, officials found 29-year-old Kelly Miller with a gunshot wound, lying on the road. Christopher Gleaton, 28, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound and was later pronounced dead.

Amid the shootings, five people were struck by vehicles as people attempted to leave, officials told local news outlets.

Deputy Chief Gerald Smith told WSOC that no witnesses have come forward. Officials said that multiple shooters may have been involved, adding that up to 100 rounds were fired.

“We’re talking about 400 people in one spot, not one witness,” Smith said. “We have no one. “No one came up to us when we were still processing the scene, but it’s not too late if you really want to make a difference and really want to see what happened. If you care about the victims and their families and friends, then come forth.”

Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham said the shooting incident “does not define” the community.

“What happened last night in the city and on that corner, which has a history of being self-sufficient, a lot of good work going on by neighborhood leaders and organizations. Last night certainly won’t define who we are, but certainly it is giving cause for concern about how we conduct ourselves,” he said, according to the news outlet.

Several witnesses told WBTV that they saw street racing and drivers burning out in the road before the shooting occurred.