7 year old Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas

Two local groups are calling for a prayer vigil Wednesday following one the Charlotte’s deadliest weekends in recent memory.

Twelve people were shot at six locations and five died, including a 7-year-old boy, over the Labor Day weekend. That brought to 43 the number of homicides reported so far this year — more than all reported in 2014.

Seven-year-old Kevin Antonio Calderon Rodas died late Saturday when someone opened fire during an outdoor birthday party in the Springfield subdivision off Nation’s Ford Road. Three other people were reported injured in that shooting. Police said they had no solid leads in the case.

Hours later and only five blocks away, 30-year-old Laquanta Franchez Young was killed just after midnight as she sat on a porch. A man who lived in the house was injured.
Police have not said whether they believe the shootings were related.

“That’s one of the things we’re working hard to determine, to figure what’s connected and what’s not,” CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said at a Sunday news conference.

Meanwhile, two local groups — Mothers of Murdered Offspring and The Million Youth March of Charlotte — are organizing a vigil Wednesday in Marshall Park. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. “It is disheartening to know that the city in which I was born and raised, our community as a whole, has gotten to a state in when we as a people can’t enjoy one another without worrying whether or not we are next,” said Mario Black, a founder of the Million Youth March organization. “Our prayers are with the…families during their time of mourning.”

A fund set up to pay for Rodas’ funeral, on the gofundme.com website, had raised more than $2,150 of its $3,000 goal as of early Tuesday.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.