News 12 at 6 O'clock / Saturday, January 18, 2014
Jamal Richardson (WRDW-TV)
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Good news for one community in Aiken, where a suspect in a home invasion has been caught. The suspect, 17-year-old, Jamal Richardson, was charged with attempted murder and burglary.
Deputies say Richardson and two others invaded a home on Mockingbird Lane on Christmas Eve demanding money and drugs at gunpoint. One person was shot and taken to the hospital in that burglary, where he later recovered.
Although Christmas has come and gone, decorations that are still up, remind John Cooper of a cold December morning he'll never forget.
"There's cops everywhere, I come around the corner and I'm like oh my God," he said.
His nephews house had been invaded by three teens on Mockingbird Lane on Christmas Eve, demanding money and drugs at gunpoint.
"Our Christmas went down hill from there," said Cooper.
The scene was hectic complete with swat teams, police cars, and drug dogs. It ended with one person shot.
"Still can't wrap my mind around it," he said.
Less than a month later, the community is still shaken up.
"Still a little unsettling, talking to the neighbors," explained Cooper. "Times are changing, that's all there is to it."
Coopers neighbor, Mike Racioppo's lived on Mockingbird Lane for more than 15 years.
"You used to know everybody in the street, you know, you could wave, hey how you doing?" he said.
After Christmas Eve, he's spent most of his days inside his house.
Other neighbors, have even thought about selling, moving and getting out.
"We were like why don't we just sell and move and I was like you know no way, I am not going to let an incident like this run me off from my home," said Cooper.
He's standing his ground but begs for more patrolling by law enforcement.
"Just make their presence known," he said. "Smack dab in the middle of the Southside and you get a lot of undesirables."
Now, folks are choosing to protect themselves from the violence slowly taking away their neighborhood.
"A young kid breaks into the wrong house and get shot, you know possibly killed, money, drugs, whatever it is they're looking for, I would hate to see something like that happen," said Cooper.