CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police say a father shot and killed his son in a South Park neighborhood Thursday morning after a verbal altercation.
Earnest Howard Gurley Jr., 63, is charged with the murder of his 20-year-old son, Benjamin James Gurley, police say.
The incident was reported at 8:43 a.m. on the 3100 block of Fairfax Drive in the Barclay Downs neighborhood, according to a spokesman with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Police say Earnest shot his son in the chest inside the home and then dialed 911 to confess.
The son wandered out into the front yard where he collapsed and later died at 8:51 a.m., according to police.
Neighbor Ann Gonzales heard the police sirens.
"The police officer pulled out his gun and approached the front doorway and said 'get down', and repeated it and that was basically all I heard," said Gonzales.
Neighbors say the father and son seemed to get along.
"Just a nice kid. I never heard anything negative. Everything was positive," said one neighbor.
Katie Cannon remembers meeting Gurley for the first time.
"He was very sweet and polite and he made a point to introduce himself," said Cannon.
Cannon worked with his girlfriend and says the couple was excited about having a baby on the way.
"When she first found out she was pretty tickled, a little nervous but happy at the same time," said Cannon.
Gurley worked for several months at Angry Ale's. The restaurant owner called the shooting a "tragedy."
"Ben was a very good kid and sweet guy," said owner Andy Henson.
On his Facebook page, Gurley posted a message to his unborn child. "I love you more than anything" he writes. "I'll see you in 6 months and I can't wait!!!"
Police have not released a motive for the shooting.