Teenagers' argument ends with one shot in the back

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August 1, 2006

Two teenagers got into an argument that ended in gunfire.

Now one of them is in jail and the other is in the hospital.

It happened on Sandy Hills Court in North Augusta just past the Aiken-Edgefield county line.

It was 14-year-old Allen Harris' worst nightmare unfolding right before his own two eyes.

"This can't be true," Harris says. "I thought I was dreaming until I realized I wasn't."

His friend and neighbor, 19-year-old Reuben Rickenbacker, had been shot in the back.

"He was like, 'I can't hardly breathe'," Harris recalls.

Witnesses tell News 12 the fight started in the victim's front yard and quickly moved across the street. Before they knew it, shots were fired and the victim was lying in his own front yard.

The 16-year-old suspect, whose name will not be released, fled to a nearby wooded area. He was caught only 300 yards away.

"I was surprised," says neighbor Yolanda Harley, "because Reuben works very hard, and he's quiet. He's not a troublemaker from what I know. So yeah, very shocked."

But she says it's not the first time the 16-year-old suspect has stirred up trouble.

"It was a fistfight," she says. "Him and my son had been into it before, but after he moved away it's been quiet."

Quiet, but not invisible from crime.

Rickenbacker was airlifted to MCG.

The 16-year-old suspect will be taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in Columbia, where he'll likely await charges on assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.