UNC Charlotte students are rallying in the wake of a shooting that took the lives of two students and injured four more on campus. Riley Howell and Ellis Parlier were both killed on Tuesday when a former student walked into their class in the Kennedy building and opened fire.
On Wednesday, about 8,500 students packed Halton Arena on campus and heard speeches from student organizer Kristine Slade, Chancellor Philip Dubois, student body president Chandler Crean and others before spilling out onto the surrounding courtyard for a candelight vigil.
While Wednesday’s vigil was anything but political, the same can’t be said for two rallies held on Friday on campus and at Romare Bearden Park, organized by the UNC Charlotte chapter of March for Our Lives and local chapters of the NAACP. The campus rally attracted about 150 students, staff and others. Government representatives addressed the crowd, including Charlotte City Council members Braxton Winston and Dimple Ajmera, Mecklenburg County Commissioner and UNC Charlotte professor Susan Harden and U.S. Rep. Alma Adams. One speaker read a letter from Gov. Roy Cooper addressed to the students, as he could not make it himself, that read in part, “We all must work together to address this crisis and keep North Carolina safe.”
Later in the day, many of the same students joined other organizers at a Stop the Violence rally at Romare Bearden Park in Uptown organized by the local chapter of the NAACP. Members in the crowd applauded when it was announced that Howell would be buried with full military honors. Howell has been hailed as a hero after reportedly tackling the shooter on Tuesday. A memorial is planned for Howell at Lake Junaluska near his hometown of Waynesville on Sunday evening. Organizers at the Uptown rally presented a petition to make April 30 a “Day of Remembrance” in Charlotte to honor the victims of Tuesday’s shooting.
A movie theater that’s been closed since 2017 reopened in one of south Charlotte’s most popular shopping centers on Friday. The former Park Terrace movie theater in the Park Road Shopping Center reopened as AMC Park Terrace 6 on Friday, with renovations including new tiles, paint and interior design. Most noticeably, however, the theater switched out the seating and replaced it with reclining chairs. Although this cuts down on seating capacity by nearly 50%, ownership has said the popularity of such seating makes for much higher attendance. Many people were upset when AMC bought the Park Terrace, which was known for its eclectic selection of films and old-time feel. A look at the website shows that the theater will now be showing the same popular movies that most AMC theaters show.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have charged two brothers in a fatal hit-and-run that occurred early on Saturday morning in north Charlotte near Hornets Nest Park. Investigators say Scott and Zachary McMannes — 21 and 17, respectively — were on Trinity Road making a drug transaction just after 1 a.m. on Saturday when they got into an altercation with a man on foot whom they were meeting with, later identified as Desmond Stevens. Scott, who was driving the Honda Accord that the two brothers were in, reportedly tried to drive off at some point with Stevens holding on to the side of the car until they crashed into a parked Kia, which was occupied. The McMannes brothers continued driving for several hundred feet, but when their car was too damaged to continue, they hopped out and fled on foot.
Howard was later pronounced dead on the scene by Medics. Scott McMannes called 911 to report that his car had been stolen during an armed robbery elsewhere in Charlotte and was convinced by dispatchers to report to CMPD headquarters for an interview, along with his brother Zach and their father. After the interview, Scott was charged with felony hit-and-run causing death, misdemeanor hit-and-run and possessing counterfeit U.S currency. Zach was charged with felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor hit-and-run.
CMPD is conducting a death investigation after a 13-year-old boy drowned while playing on the water with friends and family on Mountain Island Lake on Sunday, April 28. Investigators say the boy was playing on a floating pad on the lake with three other kids and four adults when he either fell or jumped in the water and drowned. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time of his death. Because the pad was tied to a boat, which was anchored to land, he was not legally obligated to be wearing a life jacket while on the pad. No foul play is suspected in the boy’s death.
Charlotte saw eight murders occur this week, putting the city on pace to see the deadliest year on record. The violent week began with three separate shootings on Sunday, April 28. At 12:57 p.m. that afternoon, police responded to a shooting call on Catherine Simmons Avenue in west Charlotte and found 40-year-old Daimeon Johnson suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to the hospital, where he later died. Anthony Walker, 26, has been charged for Johnson’s murder. About an hour later, police responded to a shooting call on Snow Lane in east Charlotte and found a man and woman both suffering from gunshot wounds. They transported both victims to the hospital, where 21-year-old Shalecia Williams later died. Reco Perry Jr., 23, has been charged for Williams’ murder, and Beyoncé Rorie, 18, was charged with accessory after the fact. At 8:25 p.m., police responded to reports of a shooting at Extended Stay America on Yorkmont Road and found two shooting victims, a man and woman. The woman, 30-year-old Tyrena Inman, was pronounced dead on the scene, while the man was transported to the hospital and treated for a non-life-threatening injury.
On Monday, police responded to Restaurante Lempira on South Boulevard after a man was shot there. They found Domingo Venancio-Tapia lying dead just outside the door of the restaurant. Witnesses told police he was shot just after leaving the building. Police arrested Gerardo Lagunes and Juan Escalante for the murder. While Lagunes was taken into custody without incident, Escalante barricaded himself in a home on Coulee Place for eight hours on Tuesday before SWAT took him into custody peacefully.
On Tuesday, Riley Howell, 21; and Ellis Parlier, 19, were shot and killed in their classroom at UNC Charlotte. Four others were injured in the shooting. You can read more about that incident here, and stay tuned for more coverage from Queen City Nerve.
On May 1, just a day after the shooting at UNC Charlotte rocked the city and made national news, police responded to another shooting call at University Village apartment complex right across the street from campus. Officers found 22-year-old Donqwavious Davis lying near the pool suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the hospital, where he later died. Juan Concepcion-Perez, 20, has been arrested and charged with Davis’ murder.
On Thursday, at 1:40 a.m., police responded to a shooting call in a parking lot on North Tryon Street near Sugar Creek Road and found 36-year-old Victor Moses dead in a vehicle. Police later found a second victim suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound nearby and transported him to the hospital.