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‘It’s almost surreal:’ neighbors shaken by shooting that killed 3-year-old in Northwest Charlotte

Asiah Figueroa, 3, died following an overnight shooting in northwest Charlotte.
Asiah Figueroa, 3, died following an overnight shooting in northwest Charlotte.(Source: Family-submitted photo)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A northwest Charlotte community is searching for answers after a 3-year-old was shot and killed Tuesday night.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the shooting happened just before midnight on Richard Rozzelle Drive.

Several suspects fired nearly 150 rounds into the home. Asiah Figueroa was one of two people struck by gunfire. He died from his injuries. His 4-year-old sister was grazed during the gunfire and is expected to survive, police said.

“The worst sound that I heard was the blood-curdling screams of the mother that had just lost their child,” said Abdul Khan who lives nearby.

WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some viewers.

Balloons, teddy bears, and flowers adorn the front yard where 3-year-old Asiah used to play before being shot and killed Tuesday night.

“It’s scary it’s almost surreal,” Khan said

Kahn’s lived in the neighborhood for the last two years. He said this is the third shooting in the neighborhood in the last two years.

CMPD confirmed two additional shootings into homes over the last two years.

Khan and other neighbors say the shots jolted them awake, many of them were still on edge hours later.

On Wednesday neighbors were outside talking, hugging, and delivering water. It’s that same comradery Khan says is helping each other get through this difficult time.

“It’s good to see it because there’s still a sense of hope left,” Khan said.

Police are searching for the people in a video who they say fired close to 150 rounds into this home.

“We’re asking again and we’re pleading and we’re begging as the mayor mentioned for your assistance to help us identify the people involved in this shooting so we can take dangerous criminals off the street who are preying on our community and our society,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings.

According to the CMPD, information also indicates the shootings have some relation to students at Hopewell High School. Detectives said they also believe there is a student from North Mecklenburg High School and Chambers High School.

Police said there is an increased police presence at these schools. They added that they do know of numerous Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students who are involved and, to their knowledge, they are all teenagers.

“We need you to look through their stuff you’re their parents, you can do that. Look through their rooms, look through their phones, look through their social media accounts, and find out what you can find out. We need that to solve the murder of three-year-old Asiah,” CMPD’s Captain Joel McNelly.

Khan says there’s no time to waste and they need to work with teens by being active and encouraging conflict resolution over violence.

“Being more proactive in these children’s lives and knowing what they’re doing. This is a chance for us to really learn something and use this as a learning experience and I think we can,” Khan said.

Investigators have not made an arrest or named a suspect in the Richard Rozzelle Drive shooting at this time. Anyone with information can reach out to Crimestoppers at (704) 334-1600 or (704) 432-TIPS.

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