Man killed on Charlotte ball court

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVERApril 27, 2009 

What started out as a pickup game of basketball on a warm Sunday ended tragically in southwest Charlotte, with one man dead and a teenager in serious condition.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they were called to Boulevard Homes off West Boulevard after shots were fired at the public housing complex's basketball court.

Amico Elmaldrich Martin, 26, died shortly after arriving at Carolinas Medical Center. Sixteen-year-old Kadarus Donell Cunningham was in serious but stable condition at CMC after surgery.

Some residents told the Observer that the shots came after a confrontation near the basketball court over someone breaking into an apartment.

Police say it was not a random shooting - but wouldn't discuss what led to it.

When officers arrived, they found one victim on the ground near the basketball court, and a second victim on the ground across Brookvale Street. Charlotte firefighters and Medic treated both victims, and transported them to Carolinas Medical Center. Martin was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A relative told the Observer that Kadarus was shot in the back as he was running away from the basketball court and gunfire.

Others, who didn't want to be identified, told the Observer they heard several gun shots and saw people running from the court. They said they were upset because the shootings took place where many children were playing.

Boulevard Homes is the same complex where CMPD officers John Burnette and Andy Nobles were fatally shot in 1993 chasing a suspect in woods behind the complex.

During Sunday's incident, Sgt. Todd Lontz wouldn't say what the argument was over, or who fired the shots. He declined to answer questions about the victims - though it appeared police were looking for a suspect. From the rental office, 15 police cars were counted and police were seen going unit to unit.

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