Asiah Figueroa was killed Tuesday night after multiple gunmen shot 150 bullets into his great-grandmother’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 3-year-old boy was asleep when the barrage of bullets flew through the house striking him and his 4-year-old sister. The little boy was fatally shot and his sister was injured, police said.
Police are currently investigating the horrific incident. So far, no charges have been filed and the suspected gunmen have not been identified.
Authorities are also searching for a motive in the gruesome crime. Officials believe the shooting was tied to a feud linked to Hopewell High School students. They said the shooting Tuesday night might have been linked to other shootings in the Charlotte area.
In an attempt to locate the suspects responsible for Asiah Figueroa’s death, police released two videos that showed the shooting as it unfolded outside of the Charlotte home. The videos, which were recorded via Nest doorbell cameras, showed two vehicles drive down the street before parking in the middle of the road. The suspects then exited the cars and proceeded to unleash a barrage of bullets towards the house.
Using their cars for cover, the gunmen shot over 150 bullets before ducking inside their respective vehicles and fleeing the scene. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department posted the videos on Twitter Wednesday and also released a Dropbox link in an attempt to garner the public’s assistance in finding those responsible.
In its statement, the CMPD said that evidence “indicates the string of shootings have some relation to students at Hopewell High School, and detectives believe there is a student from North Mecklenburg and Chambers (Vance) high schools involved.”
Police continued, explaining that “homicide detectives have gathered this video evidence of the shooting,” referencing the two videos released on social media. The police said that “they are sharing it in hopes someone in the community recognizes one of the vehicles or suspects.”
Anyone who recognizes the vehicles or suspects in the videos was asked to “call a homicide detective at 704-432-TIPS, or leave the information anonymously with,” the CMPD said.
According to Captain Joel McNelly, Asiah Figueroa’s death should “outrage everyone.” He said during a press conference Wednesday that “what started out as teenage dispute games has turned into a deadly game that’s now taken two lives. What we need is for you to be as outraged about this as we are.” McNelly continued, explaining that “what we need is for you to be as outraged about this as we are.
Asiah Figueroa’s great-grandmother, Susie Whitley, told reporters that the suspects “just shot up the house and killed my great-grandson.” She claimed that “they tried to kill everybody up here, I do believe.”
Whitley explained that “at first I thought, I thought I heard gunshots but I didn’t really know. But then when I heard them hitting the door, I knew someone was shooting at my house.” She said she “didn’t want to believe it.”
She told reporters that “these people need to be caught and need to get them off the street because they keep shooting at people’s houses.” The gunmen, who are suspected to be teenagers from Hopewell High School and other Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, killed Whitley’s great-grandson while he was asleep. She believes the despicable act needs to be punished.
Asiah Figueroa’s great-grandmother said he was going to turn 4 years old in December. Whitley says he was a kind boy who loved playing on his iPad.
Reports said that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community met on Wednesday night to honor Asiah Figueroa and to discuss changes that need to be made for the safety of Charlotte’s youth. The community members agreed that they need to lean on faith.
One speaker also sent a message to those responsible for the shooting. “If y’all don’t put down these guns, this is what we going to continuing to have,” they announced.
A community leader, identified as Leondra Garrett, sent a message to Charlotte’s youth. Garrett demanded that “you gotta stop living by the codes of the streets. Snitching is if me and you go do something together and I tell on you and don’t tell on myself. Snitching is not when you have friends that are going to do something stupid or that’s going to harm people or endanger lives and you don’t tell somebody so they can intervene.”
At the vigil, which was held outside Susie Whitley’s home, neighbors released balloons and vowed not to let the senseless murder go unpunished. One speaker, Andrea Walker, who helped organize the vigil, said that “I just need the violence to stop. I need parents to step up, take responsibility [for] the bad choices that our kids are making. Step up and just help the community so we’ll have a better future for our children.”
It was reported that neighbors could hear Asiah Figueroa’s mother after the gunfire erupted. One neighbor, Abdul Khan, said that it was “the worst sound that I heard.” Khan described it as a “blood-curdling screams of [a] mother that had just lost their child. It’s scary, it’s almost surreal.”