Two people shot, killed at Fayetteville apartment complex

Man and teen shot to death in Cambridge Arms Apartment complex Thursday morning.
May 2, 2014 7:38:44 AM PDT
Fayetteville Police are investigating a double homicide at the Barrington Place apartments - formerly known as Cambridge Arms.

Two bodies were discovered around 5 a.m. Thursday at an apartment in the 300 block of Barcelona Drive.

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Authorities said a man and a woman were found shot to death in apartment #28 C, after someone passing by the rear of the apartment noticed a broken glass door. One body was found near the back door, while the other was in the kitchen.

Police and family members identified the victims as 18-year-old Shaniqua Simmons and 29-year-old Jacoy Mahorn.

"My sister's gone," cried Anita Simmons, who also lives in the complex. "She is fun. She is outgoing. She liked to have fun. She tried to live her life. She was so young."

Simmons said her sister worked at the Sonic on Cliffdale Road and had spent all of Wednesday with Mahorn. She said the two were just friends, and she doesn't know what led up to the shooting.

"I just looked out my window and seen the tape," said Simmons. "And I said 'Who got killed? Who got killed?'"

When she learned the apartment number, Simmons immediately knew her sister was dead.

"Why?" she cried.

"She was going back to school to get her high school diploma," added Kiarra Brown. "She was real sweet. She'd give anybody anything."

Brown said she is close friends with a woman Simmons dated. Brown received a call from another mutual friend of Simmons notifying her of the shooting. She said Simmons often visited Mahorn's home.

"It's really close (to home). Now it's just real," said Brown.

Mahorn's family declined immediate interviews.

"We have several different scenarios that we are exploring, and we are getting some good information from the community," said Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock.

Residents living in the complex said when they saw police Thursday morning, they thought "not again."

"Woke up to the EMS ... we jumped up and noticed all these police cars out here," Joseph Odom said, who said he plans to move his family out of the complex soon.

FREQUENT CRIME

Police are known to frequent the apartment complex. In January, a man and a woman were shot to death after police said someone inside an apartment answered the door to an unidentified suspect and an argument ensued.

The City of Fayetteville, along with apartment management, has worked to increase security in recent months. Surveillance cameras, gate access and private security patrols have been added, but Thursday morning's incident still leaves many residents worried about safety.

"What cameras? I don't think they work," said Dana Duggins, walking away from the crime scene with her 12-year-old daughter. "I told my daughter 'Do not come here in the front, because that's where everything happens at.'"

"I have to fear for my life every time I step outside of this apartment. Somebody got killed here overnight. This is crazy," she said, noting she's lived in the complex for seven months. "I'm going to give them (management) my key and tell them sayonara."

"It's not safe when the lights go out," said Lisa Phillips. "I'm planning to move. I'll probably be giving a 30-day notice today."

Phillips said there are no security alarm systems in the units, and residents are not allowed to have large pets that she considers protection.

"There are nights it seems as if it isn't as bad as it used to be," offered another resident, Lisa Gregory. "I do feel better about the cameras and everything. I really do."

"It's cheap. It's centrally-located," she added.

Background checks are required for residents to rent in the complex, but some say the people living there are the root of the problem.

"It's the residents'" said Odom. "It's the residents. You can't stop crime."

"I hate to say it, but I wouldn't want to be living here with that class of people, because I'm not like them, so I will be moving," said Phillips.

"All we can do is watch out for one another, and if we see something, let somebody know something," said Odom.

Anyone with information concerning Thursday's homicide investigation is asked to call detectives with the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1856 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).

ABC11 reached out to Southwood Realty, the Gastonia-based company that owns the complex and had been sued by the city last year over concerns about frequent violence.

In a statement, it said it is very concerned about the murders and has spent thousands of dollars on improving safety in the complex.

It said the apartment where the shooting occurred is rented by Jacoy Mahorn's sister, and he was not on the lease and did not live in the apartment - to the company's knowledge.

"We are working closely with the City of Fayetteville Police Department and city officials to investigate this incident and to provide information that will allow law enforcement to apprehend the perpetrator(s) of this crime," said the company - adding that it will be giving security camera video to investigators.


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