AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — As Aiken investigators continue to look for clues in a drive-by shooting that left a 12-year-old dead, neighbors are reacting.
“Crosland Park is not the same no more,” a community member told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked about crime in the area. She says that the violence in Crosland Park has caused her to fear for her safety. “Man, I ain’t got time. Stuff like that mess with my nerves and I ain’t got time to get bad off sick for nobody. No,” she added.
She says she’s lived in Crosland Park for nearly 10 years, but she didn’t want to be identified out of concerns for her safety. She says that while now she has seen more law enforcement in the area, the presence should have been felt long ago. “They don’t come out here until something happens. They supposed to always ride out here to Crosland and check on this area like they should,” she stated.
Edward McKenzie, Jr., died following a drive-by shooting at his home in the 1400 block of Wyman Street last Saturday. Another boy was injured but is expected to be OK. Authorities determined it wasn’t a random act.
“More than one time something like this has happened out here. Nobody can’t live right out here in Crosland. You got to pick the wrong people out here, that’s why it’s mess up,” she shared.
In an early interview, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said that additional public safety personal will be on hand in the area. “We have extra patrol through that community and area right now and it just enough. We expect people to be able to feel safe and have that confidence of safety within our city,” he said.
Shawn checked in with Aiken Public Safety Department to gather more details on the investigation. “No, I can’t comment on anything at this time,” Lt. Jennifer Hayes told Shawn over the phone. But they are requesting your help if you know anything.
Meanwhile, as for the concerned resident NewsChannel 6 spoke with, while she waits until she can find another home, she will continue to do what she always did to stay safe in her own home.
“I’m a person who stays to myself. I don’t mess with nobody and they don’t mess with me. No,” she added.
A memorial service and balloon release for McKenzie will take place Friday, October 16 between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the family’s home at 1415 Wyman Street.