Community members pushing for change after violent weekend in Charlotte

·2 min read

Members of the Charlotte community are pushing for change after a deadly weekend in Charlotte.

Seven people were shot, including three were killed, in shootings across the city, police said. All seven victims were in their twenties.

A neighbor in the Seversville Apartment complex in west Charlotte said she heard “pop, pop, pop, pop” early Saturday morning. She said she found her neighbor in her backyard dead.

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With all the violence among young adults and teens, the Seversville neighbor said she is sicken by it all. Now, community members want to see action and change.

“It’s terrible because bullets don’t have an eye, there’s not a compass on it,” she said. “[With] All this bad stuff, they need something positive in their life, making sure they can believe again.”

Robert Reynolds, who started TreSports in northeast Charlotte, works with juveniles who have made mistakes. They aim to get teens away from violence and give them second chances. Reynolds himself once looked at 27 years in prison for bringing a gun on a school campus.

“That’s the whole purpose of the program -- is to redirect, help give them a second opportunity, give them a second chance,” Reynolds said. “So, what we have to do is programs like us. We show them love, we show them their value, we show them what’s essential for their life.”

He said because of the sports, tutoring and mentorship he brought to the kids he worked with, 97% of them that graduated from his program have not been repeat offenders.

“They got to be connected to something. Most of our young people who get in gangs who are involved in that--they are getting that love, that connection from the streets and those people in the streets are showing them that love,” Reynolds said. “What we do here, we make them feel belonged here.”

So far this year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said there have been 74 homicides in Charlotte.

(WATCH BELOW: Community gathers in wake of increased gun violence in Charlotte)