Family of 7-year-old shooting victim speaks out

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A 7-year-old boy has died following a string of shootings in Charlotte over the holiday weekend. Five, including the boy, have died. Another seven were injured across the numerous incidents. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are calling it a “sad state of affairs.”

The child, identified Monday as Kevin Antonia Calderon Rodas, was playing outside his home during a birthday celebration when he was gunned down.

Just before 9 p.m. Saturday night, police were called to the shooting, which happened in the the 6800 block of Fieldvale Place. MEDIC took the boy to the hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Kevin Rodas' family is speaking out with a  plea to the public. "I want justice to be done. My brother didn't owe anything to anyone," Merly Cruz, Kevin's sister said.

Merly says the family has only lived there for a week. She says her brother was running to grab candy from a pinatra when all of a sudden, shots rang out. That's when she found her brother on the ground.

"He didn't do anything to you all. It was just a children's birthday party," Merly said.

The family has moved out of the home because they feel unsafe and afraid for their own lives. All they can now think about is Kevin.

"The saddest part is they won't see Kevin grow up and we won't see what he would have been like in the future," Analyssa Lopez, family friend said.

Analyssa started a GoFundMe page to help cover the funeral cost. She didn't expect all the financial support that started pouring in.

"It helps us because we see the support we have in the community and we see the support from everyone," Analyssa said.

Family members say they want Kevin to be remembered as a smart, joyful and caring boy. The family tells Fox 46 there's no reason why anyone could have targeted them and now they want answers.

"I want to tell the shooter that he took the light from my eyes. I loved my brother very much," Merly said.

The family now has enough money to cover the funeral cost but they have not chosen a date because they're waiting for the child's father to get into town.

Fox 46 also spoke to a neighbor, Beatrice Cunningham, who was devastated and afraid for her own safety.

“It was a bad day for anybody to see what had happen,” Cunningham said.

Two other adults and a second child were also shot. All three had non-life threatening injuries.

Detectives are looking for witnesses to help them figure out what happened. The county's gang unit is also helping with the investigation.

Hours later, while police were still on the scene, a second shooting happened a few blocks away on Echodale Drive. A woman died. Police are not saying if the two shootings are related.

CMPD says investigators are now targeting illegal firearms and street level violence as a result of the shootings this holiday weekend. Late Monday evening, emergency officials responded to another shooting in southwest Charlotte. One victim was transported with a life threatening injury.

CMPD is still asking the public to please come forward if you know any information of these shootings or to call crime stoppers at 704-334-1600.