Toddler shot as teen, driver exchange gunfire with another vehicle, CMPD says

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A teenager and a 1-year-old child suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries after the driver of the vehicle they were riding in shot them during a gunfight with another car in east Charlotte on Monday night, police said.

De’Aaron Truesdale, 19, is the driver suspected of shooting the two young people, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Around 6:12 p.m. Monday, CMPD received a call of a possible assault with a deadly weapon in the 5700 block of East Independence Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found a 15-year-old had been shot in the leg and the 1-year-old was grazed by a bullet in the head. Medic transported both victims to a hospital with serious injuries, police said.

The toddler had surgery, and according to her mother, she’ll be OK, community activist Lucille Puckett posted on Facebook.

“(She) may be OK, but the fact remains that she should not had to go through this in the first place,” Puckett said in her post.

Gunfire erupted after a gold sedan pulled up alongside the vehicle Truesdale was driving on Independence, police said.

Truesdale and the 15-year-old fired their weapons, police said.

Rounds from Truesdale’s weapon struck the teenager and the toddler, according to a CMPD news release.

CMPD declined to say where the teen and baby were seated in the vehicle during the shooting, or what type of vehicle Truesdale was driving.

Truesdale is charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, child abuse inflicting serious injury, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, reckless driving and hit and run. The 15-year-old is charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, police said.

Police are actively searching for the gold sedan and anyone who may have been in the vehicle. The sedan should have damage along the driver’s side, consistent with being side-swiped, police said. Bullet holes and other damage from gunfire also may be noticeable.

Monday’s shooting comes two weeks after 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa was shot in the head while he slept inside his family’s home in northwest Charlotte. On Sept. 7, around 11:45 p.m., two vehicles pulled up to the home located in the 2400 block of Richard Rozzelle Drive, and shooters unloaded 150 rounds into it, killing Asiah and injuring his 4-year-old sister.

Three people are in custody for the shooting that killed Asiah.

Anyone with information about either shooting can provide it anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or leaving a tip at

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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