Charlotte officer, Hornets player surprise brothers hurt by gunfire with tickets to game

Two brothers, who were shot while they were asleep in their North Carolina apartment in December, were surprised Saturday with floor seats to the Charlotte Hornets' final home game Sunday.

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Officer Caleb Costner, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was the first officer to respond to the call Dec. 21 after someone fired seven shots into the west Charlotte apartment.

Darryl Ervin, 11, and Jeremiah Ervin, 9, were shot in the arm and hip, respectively.

Costner will take the brothers to Sunday’s Hornets game against the Indiana Pacers.

"One of the worst calls you can get as a law enforcement officer is any kind of harm done to a child. You hear that, your heart sinks because you don't know the outcome," Costner said.

Police are still investigating the shooting, and no suspects have been arrested.

Costner continues to check on the family, intending to build trust with community members.

“At the time, we weren't quite sure if they were going to make it or what exactly the outcome may be, especially when you see that much blood and that much trauma," Costner said. "To see where they've come through the journey, it puts a smile on my face. I know it puts a smile on mom's face. These are some strong kids."

Costner had conversations with Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in an effort to secure the tickets for Darryl and Jeremiah.

"I ended up meeting him and I reached out to him and said, ‘Hey would you ever be willing to help out with the youth in the community?’ I said, ‘I'm really big with helping the community,’ and he said, ‘Sure, let me know,’ and I was like, ‘OK, wow that normally doesn't happen.’"

Tamaker Thompson, Darryl and Jeremiah’s mother, said she is thankful for Costner’s efforts to put smiles on her sons' faces.

"As much as my kids went through, and for someone to put a smile on their face, this is wonderful to us," Thompson said.

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