Case Update: Homicide Investigation in the Central Division

Published on May 28, 2023

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Charlotte, N.C. – (Sunday, May 28, 2023) – The victim has been identified as Ryan Shamel Elliott (06/22/1996). The victim’s next of kin was notified of his death.

As a result of the continued investigation, detectives identified Joseph Sherman Crawford (03/06/1997) as a suspect. On Sunday, May 28, 2023, members of the CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) along with the Gastonia Police Department located and arrested Mr. Crawford.

The preliminary investigation indicates that during the apprehension of Mr. Crawford, a vehicle that Crawford was operating shot at an unmarked police vehicle that was occupied by a CMPD VCAT Detective. Shortly after the shooting, a vehicle pursuit was initiated in Gastonia and ultimately ended at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. No officers fired their service weapons during this interaction.

Mr. Crawford was taken into custody and transported to the Law Enforcement Center in Uptown to speak with homicide detectives. At the conclusion of the interviews, the suspect was transferred into the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Crawford was charged with First Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

The Gastonia Police Department is conducting a separate investigation and is the lead agency for the Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer as well as Felony Flee to Elude.

The victim’s next of kin has been notified of the arrests.

The investigation into this case is active and ongoing. As additional information develops, it will be released by the CMPD's Public Affairs Office. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. Detective B. Sinnott is the lead detective assigned to this case. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or For additional information about this case, please refer to the report: 20230527- 0118-01.



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