ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) – Mother’s Day this year will be much different for Kim Crandell.
“He said, ‘mom we are going to church Sunday.’ I was just proud to just hear him say that,” she said.
That’s because she will be without her son, Javonta Crandell.
“I told him to be careful and I love him. He said, ‘mama I love you too,’” she said with tears in her eyes.
Javonta Crandell was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Thursday morning near Sunset Avenue in Rocky Mount, police said.
He was found dead in the passenger seat of a car with the driver suffering from a gunshot wound to the hand, police said.
Javonta Crandell was 20 years old.
Since February, CBS 17 has reported on roughly a dozen shootings in the Rocky Mount area.
However, since stepping in as top cop last year, Police Chief Robert Hassell said he has been working to reduce crime.
According to Mayor Sandy Roberson, violent crime is down in the area by more than 18 percent over the past year.
Hassell talked about the department’s efforts to reduce crime during a city council work session in April.
“Instead of just looking for criminal activity, they are going to identify any other violation,” he stated during the April meeting.
Some of the new initiatives include enhanced focused patrol, license plate readers to help track down stolen vehicles, and the Atlas One app.
Rocky Mount police launched the app last summer.
It sends out alerts about violent crime in the area. It also collects tips.
All to reduce crime.
For example, an extreme alert appeared Thursday when you tap on the RMPD icon.
It had information on Thursday morning’s shooting and traffic alerts due to the incident.
It’s not just RMPD that uses the app, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department uses it as well as Myrtle Beach police, Columbus, Ohio police, plus about two dozen more.
So far, RMPD is the only department in central North Carolina that uses it.
CBS 17 did reach out to RMPD to see how these new crime initiatives, like Atlas One, are helping.
CBS 17 also reached out to the company behind Atlas One, Mobile PD, for comment and are still waiting to hear back from both.