CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Crime scene tape, markers, and police cruisers covered the scene of yet another shooting along West Sugar Creek Road. The scene has become all too common. A shooting near the I-85 interchange sent a man to the hospital and took a woman’s life, CMPD said.
“I-85/Sugar Creek Corridor is definitely one of the locations throughout the city that we pay a lot of attention to,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Major Torri Tellis.
Just hours after the homicide investigation was launched, Charlotte City Council members approved investing $1.5 million to kickstart a program that will help with job opportunities and small-business growth in six so-called opportunity zones.
I-85 at Sugar Creek Road is one of them.
“I’m very enthusiastic about this,” said Councilman Ed Driggs. “I’ve been arguing for some time that workforce development is a more productive investment than housing subsidies, frankly. I think getting people to the point where they can pay their own rent is a better outcome.”
The Sugar Creek corridor is one of the city’s high-crime areas, and leaders have already taken action this year to mitigate the problem.
In April, after nearly 900 calls for service in the area in a five-month span, city leaders voted to purchase and demolish two motels off of Sugar Creek Road that’ve been hot spots for criminal activity. The total price tag was more than $4 million.
CMPD officers have partnered with area businesses to try to improve the area that’s been described as “crime-ridden.”
“It takes more than just the police coming out here,” Tellis told Queen City News. “Patrolling through here. It also takes those phone calls from citizens if they see something that’s actually going on.”
Some community members have answered those calls for collaboration.
In May, a McDonald’s franchisee re-opened the Sugar Creek location with increased and enhanced security measures, installing fencing and cameras around the building in hopes of deterring drug deals and other crimes.
“When police officers are dispatched using 911, the Real Time Crime Center in the City of Charlotte is able to immediately zone in on these cameras, and then they can help identify and prioritize where they need to dispatch officers,” said Ron Zarek, president of the Sugar Creek Business Association.
As far as this latest deadly shooting along Sugar Creek Road, police officers are hopeful for tips from the community, but at this point do not have a suspect or suspects in custody.