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Archive for December, 2011

ONLY ON 3: Robbery suspect speaks out from behind bars

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A 17-year-old boy is still behind bars after allegedly trying to rob a Wilmington convenience store Wednesday morning. This story sparked a flurry of comments on our website; the most interesting ones coming from the suspect’s own mother who said she raised her son right, but he is making bad decisions. We spoke exclusively with Jaquan Martin and his mom in a story you’ll see “ONLY ON 3.”

“Don’t try to fit in the crowd just because you feel alone. Don’t try to act that way just because you want to be part of something,” said robbery suspect Jaquan Martin from behind the glass at the New Hanover County Jail. “Be your own man. Make your own decisions, or somebody will force you to do something that you know is wrong. Think before you act.”

That’s the advice Martin has after being arrested and jailed for attempting to rob the A&J Food Mart early Wednesday morning.

The robbery didn’t go as planned. Martin was held up by the store clerk, and begged for his life. Martin says he wasn’t in his right mind when he tried to rob the store.

“It was dumb,” Martin admits. “I wasn’t thinking because of the drugs I was on.”

He says he didn’t think about the consequences, but now all he can think about is how he doesn’t want to be behind bars. He said it’s a place he would never wish on anyone.

Among her feelings of sadness, Jaquan’s mom Tamika Beatty said she’s also happy, happy because her son is in jail and not in the ground. She’s thankful the store clerk didn’t kill her son and gave him the opportunity to turn his life around.

“He’s still my son. I still love him,” Beatty said. “Regardless of what type of stuff that he do, I have to continue to love him and nurture him and try to get him to be better in today’s society.”

Martin said he’s got a simple message for his mom and the store clerk.

“I apologize for everything I put you through, all the heartache, all the stress, the pain,” Martin said.

Martin said he used to make good grades and play sports, but then he started doing drugs. Beatty said Martin was an A-B honor roll senior at Laney High School set to graduate this summer, but the possibility of jail time will likely set him back.

In response to the comments about not knowing where her son was at four o’clock in the morning, Beatty said it’s nearly impossible to know where your children are 24/7.

Martin said his mom did raise him with morals, and he’s sorry he made the choices he did that landed him in jail.

More: continued here

Airlie Gardens receives bequest

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Granddaughter of gardens’ founder leaves $75,000 to foundation

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Police identify gunman in Virginia Tech shooting

Friday, December 9th, 2011

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Police are identifying the Virginia Tech gunman as a 22-year-old college student at nearby Radford

Police said Friday that Ross Truett Ashley, of Radford, was responsible for killing a Virginia Tech police officer Thursday, triggering a campus-wide lockdown for thousands of students.

Ashley killed himself after shooting the officer.

Police also say Ashley stole a car on Wednesday from a real estate office in Radford, which is about 15 miles from Virginia Tech. The shooting shook up the campus, the scene of the nation’s worst mass slaying in recent memory.

The man who killed a Virginia Tech police officer walked up to the patrolman he did not know and fired, then took off for the campus greenhouses, ditching his pullover, wool cap and backpack. He made his way to a nearby parking lot and when a deputy spotted him, he took his own life, leaving fresh questions on a campus still coping with the nation’s worst mass slaying in recent memory.

Why didn’t he run or engage the deputy who closed in? Was he even aware that thousands of students had just been alerted by cell phone that a gunman was on the loose and the campus was locked down? And why did he shoot an officer at a school he never attended?

“That’s very much the fundamental part of the investigation right now,” state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said Friday at a news conference.

Authorities said they know who the gunman is, but they were waiting to publicly name him because they said his family didn’t know yet. A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity described the shooter as in his early 20s from Virginia.

The gunman was likely the same man who is accused of stealing a 2011 white Mercedes SUV from a real estate office Wednesday in Radford, which is about 15 miles from Virginia Tech. Office employees told police a man came in with a handgun and demanded keys to one of their vehicles.

The office is located in a gritty part of Radford and caters to students who go to the city’s small namesake school. At the real estate office Friday, the shades were drawn and the doors locked.

It’s not clear what happened between the robbery and 24 hours later when university officer Deriek W. Crouse, 39, was shot. Police were looking for surveillance video around campus to see if it would lend any clues to the gunman’s whereabouts before the shooting.

Crouse was a trained firearms and defense instructor with a specialty in crisis intervention. He had been on the force for four years, joining about six months after 33 people were killed in a classroom building and dorm April 16, 2007.

At 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Crouse pulled over a student and was shot while sitting in his unmarked cruiser. The student didn’t have any link to the gunman, Geller said.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., police received a call from a witness who said an officer had been shot. About six minutes later, the first campus-wide alert was sent by email, text message and electronic signs in university buildings. Many students on campus were preparing for exams, and some described a frantic scene after the initial alert. Soon, heavily armed officers were walking around campus, caravans of SWAT vehicles were driving around and other police cars with emergency lights flashing patrolled nearby. Students outdoors went inside buildings. Those already therestayed put. Everybody waited.

Police aren’t sure what the gunman was doing at this point. After the shooting, he fled on foot to the greenhouses, where he left some of his clothes and his ID.

Fifteen minutes after the witness called police, a deputy sheriff on patrol noticed a man at the back of another parking lot about a half-mile from the shooting. The man was by himself, looking around furtively and acting “a little suspicious,”
according to Geller.

The deputy drove up and down the rows of the sprawling Cage parking lot and lost sight of the man for a moment. The deputy then found the man lying on the pavement, shot to death. The handgun was nearby.

Police said nobody witnessed the suicide, the parking lot apparently vacant because of warnings. For three more hours, students checked their phones, computers and TVs. Finally, the school gave the all clear.

The events unfolded on the same day Virginia Tech officials were in Washington, fighting a federal government fine over their handling of the 2007 massacre, and the shooting brought back painful memories. About 150 students gathered silently Thursday night for a candlelight vigil on a field facing the stone plaza memorial for the 2007 victims.

“Why Tech, why again?” said Philip Sturgill, a jewelry store owner. “It’s so senseless. This is a lovely, lovely place.”

An official vigil is planned Friday night.

School spokesman Larry Hincker said the alert system worked exactly as expected.

“It’s fair to say that life is very different at college campuses today. The telecommunications technology and protocols
that we have available to us, that we now have in place, didn’t exist years ago,” he said. “We believe the system worked very well.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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City committee recommends bar’s liquor license request

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A downtown Wilmington bar is one step closer to reopening.

The city’s ABC Review Committee today gave a positive recommendation for Edward Peabody’s ABC permit application. Peabody wants to open a bar called the Brikhouse at the site of the old Rox nightclub at 208 Market Street.

The permit now goes to the city manager, who will decide whether to recommend the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission approve the application.

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Hodgepodge of ‘One Tree Hill’ items up for auction

Friday, December 9th, 2011

By Judy RoyalJudy.Royal@StarNewsOnline.com

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