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Boy (7) shot and killed at birthday party in weekend of carnage

Kevin Calderon Rodas
Kevin Calderon Rodas

A young boy is dead following a shooting between rival gangs at a birthday party in a weekend of carnage at a city in the United States.

Another child and two other adults were wounded, but their injuries were not life threatening, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said.

An officer told a news conference Tuesday that police are treating all of the shootings as if they are connected. 

The chief also said the shooting of 7-year-old Kevin Calderon Rodas was likely the result of mistaken identity.

"It's a sad state of affairs in the city and our country when a 7-year-old boy can't be free to celebrate a birthday party without being murdered," Estes said at a news conference Sunday.

Police haven't identified suspects or a motive in Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas' death. The other three fatal shootings this weekend also remain unsolved, Estes said.

The sudden spate of violence led officials to call in officers from days off and vacation to help patrol and investigate, Estes said. He said the extraf officers would be used to search for illegal guns, among other steps.

"We think it is an absolute tragedy that in Charlotte-Mecklenburg we are seeing this type of violence," Estes said. "We will not rest or not stop until we do everything we can to put a stop to it."

While officers investigated the boy's killing, authorities said they heard shots nearby about three hours later and found a woman dead and a man wounded from what appeared to be a drive-by shooting.

Also over the holiday weekend, a man was found dead from gunshot wounds in east Charlotte on Sunday morning, and police found a man shot to death Saturday morning in northwest Charlotte after a second man was dropped off at the hospital where he died from gunshot wounds.

Twelve people were shot over the weekend. 

"It is too early to say if any will be connected or not," Estes said. "I can tell you what connects them is it is a senseless, tragic loss of life."