Three men were found shot to death Friday morning in a house near Pineville and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say preliminary evidence suggests that the shootings were not random.
Police have not said whether they are looking for suspects. About 10:30 a.m. Friday, they were called to a house in the 9500 block of China Grove Church in the Sterling community near Pineville, where they found three bodies with gunshot wounds. Medic pronounced all three dead at the scene.
The home is near Sterling Elementary School, but the school was not placed on lockdown, reported WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.
The victims’ names won’t be released until their families are notified, police said.
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As officers scoured the area for witnesses, two women who appeared to be family members were seen wailing outside the home.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney was among the dozens of CMPD officers at the scene. “It is an active investigation and very fluid,” police spokesman Rob Tufano said shortly before noon.
Friday’s incident shook the Sterling community, where friends and relatives gathered and wept at the only church in the neighborhood.
David Scott Cunningham, pastor of China Grove AME Zion Church, said he did not know the family or victims. But when he learned of the shooting, he and several members gathered to counsel the grieving.
“We want to be part of the healing process,” he said.
Carolyn Straite, who said she grew up in the neighborhood, called the area a “loving community” where neighbors knew and took care of each other.
Police encouraged anyone with information about the shootings to call 704-432-TIPS (8477) to speak directly with a homicide detective. Or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Reporter David Perlmutt and staff photographer Davie Hinshaw contributed.