Family says man shot at them on their own street

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, August 24, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---In February, Larry Sheppard bought a 4-wheeler and just wanted to test-drive it on Muddy Branch Road, right across the street from his house.

That's the same road where Carlton Cantrell lives.

Larry brought his 5-year-old son with him, and what happened is something he never expected.

"We were just riding, doing nothing crazy. He pointed a pistol straight on like this, was standing on the bank of the dirt road and he fired a shot," says Sheppard.

There was no warning, according to Sheppard. Just a shot fired in the direction of him and his son, while his wife Alisa followed behind.

"It fired in our direction and almost hit us and when we went on the road, we just kept on going until we got to our house," says the 5-year-old.

The Sheppards filed an incident report with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. According to the report, Cantrell said he was 25 to 30 feet away from the road and shot in the opposite direction from where the family was.

That last part's not true, according to Larry.

"Well, if he did that, then how come I saw a flash of fire come out of the barrel in my direction?" he asked.

Larry's not only out on Muddy Branch Road for fun. He takes the road to work each day.

"Aiken County Sheriff's Department said to just go around. It's like they want to avoid the problem rather than do something about it."

No happy with the response from the Sheriff's Office, the Sheppards want something done for their protection.

"I'm just wondering if someone is going to die before they are going to do anything about it," says Larry.

"My children are my life. My husband is my life and if he would have been shot, I would have been upset," says Alisa Sheppard.

And their son is just avoiding the road completely.

"I got a new 4-wheeler at my dad's shop and I never am going to ride that 4-wheeler down that dirt road."

News 12 has now learned Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt looked into the case of a family who alleged their neighbor Carlton Cantrell shot at them while riding a 4-wheeler. Hunt tells News 12 that his deputies responded correctly to the shooting. Then, the information was presented to New Ellenton Magistrate Judge Patrick Sullivan who said he would not issue an arrest warrant for Cantrell.

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