Coronavirus: CMPD Sees Spike In Shootings, Domestic Violence

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CHARLOTTE, NC — There are new trends in Charlotte metro crime as the region undergoes the "stay-at-home" order put in place to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, say police, who report dramatic increases in calls related to occupied-dwelling shootings and domestic violence.

The new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, continues to take its toll on North Carolina and is now blamed for at least nine deaths and 204 hospitalizations, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in its daily morning update Wednesday. The number of documented cases surged by nearly 100 overnight to 1,584 cases known in the state.

The state's COVID-19 hotspot, Mecklenburg County, reported about 28 percent of the tally, with 444 cases. All of Mecklenburg County has been under a "stay-at-home" order since 8 a.m. March 26. A similar order went into effect for the entire state at 5 p.m. Monday.

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus: Mecklenburg County Issues Stay-At-Home Order

"Shooting into occupied dwellings have spiked up in the past month, which is a great concern while we have a shelter-in-place order," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Gerald Smith.

There was an 80 percent increase of shootings into occupied dwellings in March 2020 compared with March 2019, Smith said.

The increase represents an 60 additional cases over a year span, which Smith said was especially concerning at a time when more people are inside homes and vehicles.

"The possibility of something tragic, if not deadly, occurring is there," he said.

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Domestic violence calls have also spiked, Smith said.

In March, CMPD saw an 18 percent increase — or 517 additional calls — regarding domestic disturbances compared with 2019, Smith said.

"We all know that anxiety, pressure, aggression can occur during this time while we're all inside, but we are asking that people reach out to resources," Smith said.

One trend that has pleased police is the overall compliance the community has shown with the unprecedented order, said CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

"The orders are new, they're evolving and geared towards maintaining public health," Estes said. "This is new territory for everyone."

SEE ALSO: Charlotte Police To Enforce Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Order

CMPD is urging county residents with complaints about community compliance to report concerns online at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department website, or by calling 311.

While hundreds of complaints have come in to CMPD, the majority are not consistent with true violations of the order, such as complaints about children jumping on a trampoline in a backyard, Estes said. While some complaints have warranted officer response, he said, most all of those situations have been resolved by explaining the order.

"No citations have been required at this point," Estes said.


This article originally appeared on the Charlotte Patch

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