The number of homicides in Charlotte stands at 47. On Saturday another person was shot and killed. And last week, three people were murdered on the same day. One of those victims was a beloved barber who worked at No Grease in the west side of the city. Twenty-nine-year-old David Lindsay was found shot to death in the front seat of his car. Family and friends gathered to remember him Sunday, WFAE’s Sarah Delia has this story.
A block of West Trade Street transformed on Sunday, it was lined with bouncy houses for kids and live music for the adults. The smell of fried food hung in the air.
The block party was planned to celebrate 20 years of business for the popular barbershop No Grease.
While people celebrated outside, there was a more somber tone inside No Grease. It’s hard to miss a highly decorated station in the corner of the shop—flowers surround a mirror many Charlotteans have looked into as they waited for a cut by David Lindsay. Now, a black nylon salon cape is draped over his barber chair.
"He was a loving guy, caring, very energetic, happy spirit, he would give you his last…whether it was the shirt off his back or his last piece of chicken. He was just that kind of guy," said DJ Meredith, the manager of the No Grease location on West Trade Street.
And for the last three years, he worked right next to David.
"We grow very close, you’re besides someone for 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I don’t think it’s hit me that he’s all the way gone," Meredith said.
David’s parents were immigrants from the Congo says No Grease owner Damian Johnson. David came to Charlotte by way of Winston-Salem when he was 17-years-old because he wanted to be a barber. Johnson says after David graduated from barber school, he eventually left to open his own shop and came back to No Grease about three years ago.
"He was known nationally as one the prominent barbers who could do anything," Johnson said. "It just a matter of time of him finding his space or where he wanted to go in the industry. Everyone knew he was up next for whatever."
Last fall when Reverend Jesse Jackson was in town, the shop got a call that he wanted to stop by for a cut, Johnson knew David was the guy for the job.
"Dave was a very well-read person, he understood history and that moment to cut Jesse Jackson’s hair, there was no better person to do that than Dave," said Johnson.
He competed in barber competitions including one held by comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer. He was a fun guy loved by many says Johnson, his murder doesn’t make any sense.
"His lifestyle wasn’t that of violence or enemies. It would be hard to dislike Dave," Johnson said. "Whoever did it was a killer. They are killers."
No Grease participates in the Cops and Barbers program, which is designed to open up communication with law enforcement and different communities in Charlotte. Johnson says it’s a great partnership and the shop will continue to work with CMPD.
But this increase in homicides is indicating a different shift in the city.
"We’re going to continue to work on the law enforcement and community relationship but now we have to deal with the people within the community relationship," Johnson said. "This thing with Dave is not a cops and community situation. This is something that is going on in the community that we have to figure out."
Johnson also added there's a lot of work to do when it comes to figuring out how to stop this increase in violence in Charlotte. The shop expects to help with that work, even if it’s a little unclear right now where to start.