CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Police in Charlotte say they were forced to shoot a teenager in a gang-related undercover drug operation at an elementary school and have arrested another teen believed to be involved.
The incident happened just after 1:30 p.m. at Hidden Valley Elementary School in a neighborhood off North Tryon Street.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Rodney Monroe told WBTV the shooting involved a marijuana drug deal between an undercover officer, informant and two teenage suspects.
One of the teens, 17-year-old Jaquaz Walker reportedly shot the informant in the shoulder after attempting to rob him.
That’s when police say the undercover officer shot Walker in the head. Walker died at Carolinas Medical Center Tuesday night.
Walker’s mother, Faith Walker, told WBTV‘s Steve Crump on Wednesday morning that her son wasn’t armed when he was shot by police.
“Yesterday at the hospital was just awful,” Faith said. “I wasn’t allowed to see my son one time.”
Police have identified the second teenager involved in the undercover sting as 17-year-old Davion Drayton.
Officers say Drayton was arrested Wednesday at an associate’s home in the Hidden Valley neighborhood on a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Both teens were enrolled in a CMS alternate school, according to school administrators.
“You know you have 15, 16 year old kids out here wielding firearms, that’s a very dangerous situation,” said Chief Monroe.
But Walker’s mother wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t think that was the case,” she told WBTV on Wednesday. “Either way, he shot my son three times, once in the head.”
The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution. There was staff at the school, but no students as summer vacation started last week.
Chief Monroe defended their decision to conduct the undercover operation at an elementary school, saying at no time were staff inside ever in danger.
“Anytime you conduct an undercover operation, what’s a good location,” he said. “Whether it’s a shopping mall or neighborhood, there’s no real perfect location.”
Monroe also confirmed the shooting is gang-related and part of larger undercover operation ongoing for several months. But he declined to give more details, saying it may compromise their investigation.
The shooting comes at a time when neighbors say the area was showing signs of improvement after years of battling drugs and gang violence.
“It’s been quiet in this neighborhood, ain’t nothing happened over here, everything been good, it’s always somebody come in the neighborhood and do this, it ain’t nobody in our neighborhood,” said neighborhood resident Johnnie Crank.