A 7-year-old boy was killed and three others wounded in a shooting in North Carolina on Saturday night, police said.
Authorities were searching for a gunman early Sunday, after being called to the shooting in South Charlotte around 8:50 p.m. ET Saturday, police said.
Officers were en route to the scene when they were flagged down by family members of the 7-year-old, police said.
The boy, identified as Kevin Rodas, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Two adults and another child were wounded in the shooting. They were treated on-scene by a medic, police said.
Authorities told NBC affiliate WCNC that the incident took place in the front yard of a home in South Charlotte.
Deputy Chief J.W. Estes told reporters that police dogs and a helicopter had been searching woodland for the gunman.
"It's a sad state of affairs in the city and our country when a 7-year-old boy can't be free to celebrate a birthday party without being murdered," Estes said at a news conference Sunday.
"We have a lot of soul searching to do," he said. "We will not rest or not stop until we do everything we can to put a stop to it."
Police said they had opened a homicide investigation and were searching for witnesses.
Also over the holiday weekend, a man was found dead from gunshot wounds in east Charlotte on Sunday morning, and police found a man shot to death Saturday morning in northwest Charlotte after a second man was dropped off at the hospital where he died from gunshot wounds.
"It is too early to say if any will be connected or not," Estes said. "I can tell you what connects them is it is a senseless, tragic loss of life."
Editors note: Due to incorrect information from North Carolina officials, the young boy who died was originally identified as being 9 years old. NBC News regrets the error.