News & Opinion

Teen Arrested Following NYE Mass Shooting at Romare Bearden Park

Police and fire vehicles surround Romare Bearden Park
First responders arrive at the scene of a shooting in Romare Bearden Park on Sunday night.

A 19-year-old man is in custody after allegedly shooting five people at Romare Bearden Park during New Year’s Eve celebrations on Sunday night. 

Police said the suspect was “deemed not to be an active shooter,” meaning he did not continue shooting after the original incident. All five victims, four women and one man, were shot below the knee and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police said that “officers who were patrolling the park responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call for service” after the suspect discharged multiple rounds into a group of people at around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

“Using video technology, detectives were able to quickly provide officers on scene with a description of the suspect,” the department stated on Twitter, likely referencing the Real Time Crime Center in the department’s headquarters, from which employees can monitor feeds from nearly 100 cameras placed at more than 20 intersections around the city. “[The suspect] was identified as the suspect based on the description and taken into custody on scene.” 

The above video shows a car parking on the top floor of a parking garage overlooking the scene. Moments later, police would arrive and arrest the people in the car and multiple people standing around it (footage below).

Following an interview with detectives, the suspect was charged with five counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one misdemeanor count of going armed to the terror of the public. The suspect was assigned a $750,000 bond and is expected in court on Tuesday, Jan. 2. 

Footage obtained by Queen City Nerve shows the aftermath of the event, during which multiple arrests were made as bystanders gathered around the park while first responders arrived and tried to make sense of the scene. 

Groups of people surround police and fire vehicles outside of Romare Bearden Park
Several people were arrested at the scene of a shooting at Romare Bearden Park on Sunday night.

The shooting occurred as crowds gathered to watch fireworks and the lighting of the Queen City Crown during Charlotte Center City Partners’ CLT NYE Uptown 123123 celebration. 

Footage obtained by Queen City Nerve shows the dramatic arrest of multiple people atop a parking garage that overlooks Romare Bearden Park shortly after the shooting, though it’s unclear what relation if any the people taken into custody in the video have to the shooting that occurred shortly before. 

Footage shows the group looking down on the crime scene from above as first responders arrive, then shows police recovering what appears to be a gun from under the car, which backed into its parking spot atop the garage after the shooting.

Some of the people taken into custody atop the parking garage were already there looking down on the scene when the black car in question arrived. Though not shown in the footage, witnesses said the group was recording something — likely a music video or social media post — while standing in front of the car while police investigated the scene below. 

A bird's eye view of the scene outside of Romare Bearden Park
In this photo of the scene following Sunday night’s shooting shows a car parked atop a nearby parking garage before police arrested the people in the car and a group of people standing nearby.

Dozens of officers responded to the top of the garage to take members of the group into custody. CMPD has not yet responded to our requests for confirmation as to whether the 19-year-old shooting suspect was one of the group arrested atop the garage. 

Sunday night’s shooting comes less than six months after police arrested a dozen juveniles and seized four guns during Fourth of July celebrations at Romare Bearden Park. Several videos shared on social media that night showed fireworks exploding in the crowd, people fighting and others running away in fear. 

Footage obtained by Queen City Nerve following Sunday night’s shooting looked similar, as some people fled the scene while others gathered around first-responder vehicles, sometimes blocking traffic. Police can be seen taking multiple people into custody in separate instances while investigating the shooting. 

UPDATE: Police released an update on Monday stating that multiple disturbances in the Uptown area resulted in the arrest of 12 people — 11 juveniles and one adult — on Sunday night. Six parents or guardians of the arrested juveniles were cited and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Two firearms were seized by officers.

Charges for the arrested individuals include assault on a government official, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting a public officer, and possession of a handgun by a minor. Three officers were treated for minor injuries sustained at the scene.

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