February 14, 2006
The first call came in to 9-1-1 just before one o’clock Tuesday morning. Two men were shot at the Dogwood Terrace Apartments near 2nd and 3rd Avenues. With no one in jail and 28-year-old Ephelius Bryant dead, some there want to know what went wrong. News 12 reports from an area that many say is patrolled 24/7.
Hours after a deadly shooting, people that live in Dogwood Terrace Apartments walk where Ephelius Bryant died, but have little to say about what happened.
“I couldn’t really tell you what happened,” one resident said.
“I just heard a bunch of people crying and stuff and that’s when I ran out to them,” another said.
What drew blue lights and a crowd started here in this fire lane between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.
“I ain’t friggin’ to come out the door with no gunshots,” a resident said.
Some neighbors say they heard up to nine gunshots in the night. The crime tape is still up on a nearby tree where a deputy says Bryant was shot, then dragged through this alley to 3rd Avenue by a family member trying to help him.
“He was everybody’s friend, that was a peacemaker, he wasn’t, that’s one of the reasons he got shot in his back that was a sign of him walking away from trouble, not into trouble,” another resident said.
This man, like everyone else we talked to on camera, didn’t give his name but told us people around here know Bryant as “Fifi.”
People who live in this neighborhood say deputies patrol the area 24/7 looking for drugs and trouble, but they say last night they took way too long to get here.
“They ride through to check on drugs. Why can’t you just ride through here to check on an innocent bystander walking by? People don’t care about anybody, they’ll shoot anybody,” a neighbor said.
News 12 has learned a deputy was on the scene within minutes of the shooting and investigators say there are more apartment complexes than patrols.
But questions still remain and for many a close friend is no longer around.
“That’s why they call him the man of the neighborhood, he meant something to all of us, you know I lost a friend and it hurts,” one friend said.
There are no arrests yet. Some neighbors tell News 12 Bryant was on his way to take a Valentine’s Day to his daughter when he was killed.