The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it is investigating a homicide in northeast Charlotte after a man was shot and killed Friday night.
It happened just before 10 p.m. on Deaton Hill Drive, near I-485 and Mallard Creek Road.
MEDIC said the victim, later identified as 56-year-old Ralph Hammond, was shot multiple times.
Channel 9 reporter Glenn Counts spoke with members of Hammond’s family. They said he was a veteran and a leader at Mallard Creek High School.
Family members said Hammond was a coach and mentor at the school for about a decade. They said he helped hundreds of kids become better football players and better young men.
“I can’t believe that someone would do something like that to someone like that,” Ralph Hammond’s sister Pamela Hammond said.
In a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the district confirmed Hammond was a former volunteer football coach.
Ralph Hammond was described as a person with a heart for helping and molding young people.
“It would make his chest stick out so big it was like it was his kid. He loved them like they were his own, just proud of them. Look at the pictures on his wall. All these guys have come through this home and they have been under his care,” Pamela Hammond said.
Pamela told Channel 9 that Ralph even converted his garage into a gym for strength training for Mallard Creek High School football players.
“He would go get them, he would bring them here, he would feed them. He would clothe them if they needed clothing, shoes, cleats, whatever they needed,” Ralph Hammond’s sister Debbie Hammond said.
The family said they want the person who took Ralph Hammond’s life to face justice.
“I want to tell that person that you took a grandfather, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a father figure to so many kids,” Pamela Hammond said.
“It’s a shame that someone took that away because it was so much more that he could have done, so much more he could have given,” Debbie Hammond said.
Police have not released any further information on this case. Channel 9 has reached out to CMPD to learn more.
The full statement from CMS can be read below:
“Coach Ralph was a beloved part of the Mallard Creek High School community as a volunteer coach. Our volunteer coaches dedicate their valuable time and resources to working with student athletes and we cannot express the depth of our gratitude for the work they do. Coach Ralph mentored many student athletes and his legacy will be long-lasting in the Creek community. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this difficult time.”
There is a vigil at Mallard Creek at 6:30 Monday night for Hammond.
Violent 48 hours in Charlotte
It has been a violent 48 hours in Charlotte. CMPD has responded to several shooting calls, including two homicides, since Friday afternoon.
Just after 2 p.m. Friday, police responded to Albemarle Road near Farm Pond Lane in east Charlotte, where someone was shot and killed. Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene at the Giveaway Arcade next to the KFC. Officers said a suspect was taken into custody.
Hours later, authorities responded to Deaton Hill Drive in northeast Charlotte, where Hammond was found fatally shot. CMPD said it is investigating the homicide.
Around the same time, MEDIC was called to Little Rock Road in west Charlotte for a shooting. Paramedics confirmed a person was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Not long after MEDIC responded to that scene, paramedics found a shooting victim near Beatties Ford Road in north Charlotte. Officials said the victim had life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
Then on Friday before noon, MEDIC confirmed to Channel 9 that it responded to a shooting on Old Pineville Road in south Charlotte. At the scene, officials said a victim was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Channel 9 has reached out to CMPD for more information on all the shootings and if any suspects have been arrested in any of the cases.
Return to this story for updates.
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