Man charged in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy in a barrage of gunfire at a home in Charlotte, North Carolina

Man charged in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy in a barrage of gunfire at a home in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy in North Carolina who was killed when about 150 rounds of ammunition were fired into a residence late Tuesday night, according to a news release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

Police said Asiah Figueroa was sleeping at his great grandmother’s house when he was fatally struck. His 4-year-old sister was grazed during the shooting and is expected to survive, CMPD said.

Qua’Tonio Stephens, 21, was charged with several offenses, including being an accessory after the fact to murder, CMPD said.

According to police, detectives attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Stephens on Wednesday. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit ensued, after which Stephens was taken into custody, CMPD said.

Stephens was also charged with seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and felony flee to elude, CMPD said.

As of Friday evening it was unclear if Stephens had obtained legal representation. He is currently being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

The investigation into the case is active and ongoing, according to CMPD.

Before the arrest, the police department released what appears to be surveillance video of the shooting, hoping the public can help identify the cars or the suspects.

In the video, two vehicles drive on a street and stop in front of a house when multiple people exit the cars and start firing gunshots at the home. Police said 11 people were in the house when the shooting happened.

Susie Whitley, the boy’s great grandmother, told CNN affiliate WBTV that Asiah and other family members were staying in her home, and that she heard the gunshots just as she was about to fall asleep. Her granddaughter began screaming that Asiah was shot as she dialed 911, Whitley told the news outlet.

“When I went into his room, my grandson was in there, was holding him and he said, ‘Grandma, I think he’s gone.’ I didn’t want to believe it,” Whitley told WBTV.

Asiah would have turned 4 in December.

Detectives believe the shooting is related to two other homicides, which have some connection to students at Hopewell High School. Students from North Mecklenburg and Chambers (Vance) high schools may be involved as well, authorities said.

“We believe that these tragic events stemmed from some simple disputes. What started out as teenage dispute games, has turned into a deadly game that’s now taken two lives,” CMPD Captain Joel McNelly said.

McNelly implored parents of the students at the high schools to come forward with any relevant information.

“Parents of kids at these high schools: What we need from you is, we need you to be as outraged as we are about this. This is where your kids go to school. These are the people that your kids are around, and we need your help,” McNelly said. “We need you to talk to your children. You should know whether or not your children were at home the last few nights. If your children were not at home the last few nights overnight — we need to know that.”

There are multiple suspects and multiple firearms involved, but they have not located any of the cars or any of the people involved, police said.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. The investigation into this case is active and ongoing, CMPD said.

The-CNN-Wire
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