Hephzibah neighbors on edge after SRS security officer killed in home invasion

A homeowner in Hephzibah was killed Sunday morning. (WRDW-TV)
A homeowner in Hephzibah was killed Sunday morning. (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 First at Five / Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. -- Investigators say 56-year-old Hester Jackson was shot Saturday night at his home on the 2700 block of Willis Foreman Road in Hephzibah.

It's the 30th murder in Richmond County this year, and it already has investigators asking for your help.

Viola Rickerson lives about five houses down from where her neighbor was shot and killed Saturday night.

"Never heard of anything like this happening, I mean this is a big shock," said Rickerson, who's lived here for 17 years.

"This is a quiet neighborhood, so nothing like this has ever, ever happened not since I've been here," she explained.

When Jackson didn't show up for work at SRS Sunday morning, his family was worried. They called 911 and together they found Hester shot to death in his home.

"It's sad. People just don't care anymore, you know. They just don't care about each other," Rickerson said.

Investigators say Jackson came home and caught burglars inside. Neighbors say he had just returned from a quick drive-thru dinner and was shot just outside his back door. They say he tried to crawl inside to call for help but didn't make it.

Rickerson says she's on the lookout.

"Coming home wondering, 'Is somebody out there?' so now we're all on edge now because I know when I go out and come back in, I'm going to be wondering," she said.

Neighbors say Jackson kept to himself but loved to work on his cars and always waved hello.

"He done lost his life now. For no reason at all. They'd rather kill somebody ... for what?" Rickerson said.

The homes are close to the main road and close to one another. A neighbor told investigators she saw two people running from the house after she heard a gunshot, but they don't have many other details.

"It's just surprising that something like this could happen," Rickerson said.

Rickerson and the other neighbors just hope someone comes forward to help crack this case.

"If it was young boys and young kids, they're going to talk, they're going to say something, so if you hear anything please, please get in touch with someone," she said.

Hester worked in security at SRS for about 30 years. His co-workers tell us they are deeply saddened by his death. They are even offering a reward for information that leads to the conviction of the burglars.

News 12 spoke with Hester's new wife. The couple recently got married and were working to relocate her from North Carolina to Hephzibah.

Hester's family says he had a big heart and would have given the burglars anything in the house if they had asked.

If you saw anything or have heard anything, call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1020 or (706) 821-1080.




 
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