Family says man shot at them on their own street

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

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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  • by Aiken Justice Location: New Ellenton on Oct 2, 2007 at 04:52 PM
    The allegation alone is enough to issue an arrest warrant. Keep in mind Judge Sullivan was recently suspended from office by the SC Supreme Court for failing to meet the legal education requirements, but the local media doesn't want to publish this fact to Aiken area citizens. After being arrested a preliminary hearing can be held to establish probable cause. This is usually held by Judge Danny Lynn at the detention center each Wed at 1:30 p.m. The issue of guilt then becomes a question for a 12 panel jury if a plea bargain agreement cannot be reached. Also, if it is determined that the allegation of criminal behavior as contained in the police report is false then the individuals making the complaint should be charged with filing a false police report.
  • by Scarlette Location: Hephzibah on Aug 28, 2007 at 06:24 AM
    It might not be my neighborhood but, I do feel for the people living there in that one. If I had shot off my gun in my neighborhood, I'd be going to jail for dislodging a firearm in a neighborhood. I thought it was against the law to do that unless you were protecting yourself or your property from a crime being commited there. It doesn't seem like the people who live in that neighborhood were commiting crimes against that man except the one who shot him in the face. The other people have a right to live without fear of another person who seems to be trying to commit bodily harm to others. He doesn't need to tote his gun into the yard with him every time he goes outside. There's not that much crime in that neighborhood that Mr. Cantrell needs to tote his gun on him every moment. The police need to do something about him or at least charge him with dislodging a firearm into a neighborhood without probable cause before someone gets hurt and they get sued.
  • by Scarlette Location: Hephzibah on Aug 28, 2007 at 06:11 AM
    I think fining those wearing baggy pants is a great idea. I've seen enough! I'm tired of seeing guys wear their pants almost to their knees and for what to show what Brand of underwear they are wearing. No one cares as long as their clean. This all started in the prisons and that's where they are getting it from. It's like they all want to be gangsters. It's the gang members trade mark to wear their pants down below their underwear. It's not a dignified thing if you want people to respect you. You have to look like you deserve respect in order to get respect.It's about time someone spoke out about this that can do something about it and I'm behind them 100%. You don't see Bill Gates wearing his pants like that nor anyone else who is a success in business. The kids say it's the style of today but, I don't think so. I don't call something that came out of prisons style unless you want to go there.
  • by neighbor Location: foxtown resident on Aug 27, 2007 at 08:21 AM
    Mr. Cantrell has lived in this area for quite some time and we fondly refer to him as "The Goat Man." I have also lived in the area all my life and since his arrival he has never bothered my family. The bullies in the neighborhood go looking for trouble and usually find it. It is only this certain group that has singled out Mr. Cantrell. Yes he is eccentric and a little strange but isn't that what makes this a great nation? We are not supposed to judge people because they are different from us. If people would leave him alone, he would leave them alone. I do not agree that Mr. Cantrell should be shooting at anyone but then he has never shot anyone so I am inclined to believe that he is shooting warning shots in the air. I am not condoning his behavior because he should bare some of the responsibility but if people would stop harassing him, he would not bother them either.
  • by Terry Location: homemaker on Aug 25, 2007 at 03:30 PM
    I got tired of being shot at too. Moved away from the problem because I couldn't get anything done about it. 9mm, pellets, BB's, alcohol bottles, vegetables (enough for a couple of salads), rocks, eggs. Not once did I retaliate, and not only didn't they stop, they added racist and vulgar verbal abuse, slander and spitting to the repertoire right in front of my minor children. It made no difference that we never responded or retaliated. If I asked them to please be quiet at midnight, 2am, or 4am, false witnesses would file false reports against me. Good luck. Love it in my new neighborhood.
  • by Former Deputy Location: Aiken County on Aug 24, 2007 at 06:14 PM
    The "GoatMan" has been crazy as long as I can remember. Do not blame law enforcement. Blame the mental health facilities that say he is not crazy. As far as not charging him for a crime, I do not know what to say about that. They could at least file for and order to show proable cause and let the Magistrate hear from both sides of the case and make a decision for charges to be filed on Cantrell.
  • by Gus Location: North Augusta on Aug 24, 2007 at 05:44 PM
    There is no proof he (Cantrell) did in fact shoot at or towards anyone. There is proof however that a motor vehicle was operated on a road without a plate. Arrest Larry Sheppard
  • by anonymous Location: Aiken on Aug 24, 2007 at 03:26 PM
    This is the same kind of crap that is always happening. For Cantrell aka "The Goat Man" as i've known him for about 8 years now has no right to shoot at anyone going down a public dirt road. I am friends with The Moore family that has had problems with him to, something needs to be done about "The Goat Man" and his thinking he can do what he wants. It aint right that the police wont do nothin bout him.
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