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Grief stirs Augusta community after teen's shooting death

Friends, family of homicide victim are urged to act to stop the violence

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Webster Thacker spent four years playing football for Glenn Hills High School and graduated while friends dropped out or joined gangs.

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Glenn Hills High School graduate Victor Moli tries to hold back tears as he stands with members of the football team to remember their friend Webster Thacker, 19, who was shot and killed Wednesday.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Glenn Hills High School graduate Victor Moli tries to hold back tears as he stands with members of the football team to remember their friend Webster Thacker, 19, who was shot and killed Wednesday.

“He wanted to graduate and do good to make his mama proud,” friend Victor Moli, 19, said during a Stop the Violence rally held at the school Friday in response to Thacker’s death.

After hanging out with friends in McDuffie Woods on Wednesday, Thacker, 19, was confronted by Ervin Jackson, 24, a convicted felon on probation in South Carolina for a burglary charge, authorities said.

Jackson is in jail charged with the shooting death of Thacker in the 2500 block of Drayton Drive.

Thacker was Augusta’s 25th homicide for 2011.

Thacker’s family said Jackson is the same man who threatened the teen one month earlier after aggressive words during a neighborhood basketball game turned into punches and promises to come back for Thacker with a gun.

“Webster thought the threats were only words,” Thacker’s mother, Willette, said Friday.

When Glenn Hills Principal Wayne Frazier came to the microphone, he asked the students why these killings are happening to the children in the community.

He said Webster was the third Glenn Hills student killed in five months, and one more young black man to add to the statistics. Months before, students Naquan Henderson and Anthony Washington were killed in shootings.

“I need y’all to go back in the streets and talk to each other,” Fraz­ier said. “If y’all don’t get involved in stopping it, it’s not going to stop.”

For some students, sharing memories about the deceased is comforting, but not enough.

Glenn Hills juniors Ricky Bolton and Shamel Powell said Webster’s death caused them to start a movement to ask the community to help with problems that start in the streets and end in gunfire.

“People are trying to put on a happy face to make people feel better, but it feels like someone is always getting killed,” said Diamond Hayes, 17.

Webster had plans to join the Air Force, but decided to attend Augusta Technical College in January instead so he could stay at home to help his mother, who has Lupus.

On his graduation day, despite the pain, Willette slipped into a pair of high heels for the first time in years for the special occasion. When her legs got too sore after the ceremony, Wilbur scooped his mother into his arms and carried her across the Bell Auditorium parking lot.

“That boy could fight, and that made him a protector,” said his aunt, Sandra Redd.

But in looking for answers for its pain, the Thacker family is not sure what it will find.

Family members say they believe Webster made all the right choices but was still swallowed by the streets.

“This is out of the blue,” his aunt Tonya Franklin said. “Could you leave innocent kids alone? He had plans … and you killed him.”

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seenitB4
86788
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seenitB4 12/17/11 - 07:10 am
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The article says.... He said

The article says....

He said Webster was the third Glenn Hills student killed in five months, and one more young black man to add to the statistics. Months before, students Naquan Henderson and Anthony Washington were killed in shootings.

“I need y’all to go back in the streets and talk to each other,” Fraz­ier said. “If y’all don’t get involved in stopping it, it’s not going to stop.”

Get involved ---or it will NEVER stop....take your community back from the thugs....If you see something SAY something!

You deserve a clean-safe neighborhood....this is senseless killing.

cityman
-6
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cityman 12/17/11 - 08:39 am
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This kind of "curtural"
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This kind of "curtural" killing is not a problem for the general population.

nothin2show4it
120
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nothin2show4it 12/17/11 - 09:26 am
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Unfortunately I don't think
Unpublished

Unfortunately I don't think going back to the streets and talking is the solution. This is a product of what the government has done TO this country. It isn't the rich man necessarily. The government has made laws and loop holes for the rich man. The government has caused this bad economy and hatred among people. It is the same kind of thing Hitler did with the Jews. What needs to happen is to take back the government legally in reform. It isn't a democrat or republican thing because they are all corrupt. Their only fight between the two parties is for power. They are both just as corrupt. Fix the political system and you will fix the streets.

seenitB4
86788
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seenitB4 12/17/11 - 09:43 am
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Holdup a minute nothin....It

Holdup a minute nothin....It isn't just the loopholes for the rich....the loops for the other end are causing trouble too.....
when we stop paying folks to have babies w/o daddies & make it profitable again to have that daddie in the house ...I would be willing to bet that crime would dropped to 1/2....the daddies would have to work to feed their babies & they wouldn't put up with crap from the younguns...it worked in the past....our crazy government just made it too easy to skip over the daddy part-----the having babie part they know fully well.

allhans
23618
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allhans 12/17/11 - 10:11 am
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I hope and pray that the

I hope and pray that the people who are most affected by this will heed the words of Wayne Frazier. It is up to you to take back the streets and to take back your young men. Parent them. Excuses can be made but they will never help. This senseless killing has nothing to do with the economy, hard times have always been with us. We were NEVER promised that life would be easy.. This present situation is hard, so get started talking and mentoring.
This one subject disturbs me more than any other I hear about. More prayers are needed. HELP them before it is too late and we have the "next one".

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 12/17/11 - 10:13 am
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I would add that a bigger

I would add that a bigger problem (maybe the biggest) is the breakdown of the traditional family unit among the African American community. At this time, 3 out 4 AA children are born with no father at home. There are no male role models for these young men, other than gangs and thugs. Many of the moms are out working, and these kids are raised on the streets. Getting an education becomes less important that surviving. These kids end up fathering more children out of wedlock, and the cycle just continues on spiraling downward with no end in sight. Yes, the gov't has underwritten and enabled this destructive culture, but it starts with the individual and the community.

Fix the culture that has little personal responsibility, little respect for life, and few at-home fathers, and you'll do much to fix the problem of murder and crime among young AA males.

itsanotherday
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itsanotherday 12/17/11 - 10:25 am
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Allhans: "This senseless
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Allhans: "This senseless killing has nothing to do with the economy, hard times have always been with us."

Exactly. As others have pointed out, it is the government's subsidization of single parenthood and entitlement.
Hopefully, these high profile murders will shake the community awake to take action from within and DEMAND some personal responsibility. As long as it is thug killing thug, it seems nobody really cares; but this young man was loved by all who knew him.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 12/17/11 - 02:14 pm
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I honestly think it has a lot

I honestly think it has a lot to do with parenting. Parents either condone the behavior or can't control it.

allhans
23618
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allhans 12/17/11 - 02:42 pm
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Patty P Exactly! That is

Patty P Exactly! That is why mentoring is so important. There are good role models in the community that can help these young people (not just the boys, but the girls also, perhaps even more so).

I know it takes time away from other things, but just 30 mins or an hour. Take the small boys for a hair cut, you can form a bond with simple activities such as this.
God bless the little children!! And God bless those who care enough to get involved.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 12/17/11 - 04:38 pm
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If you want to curb or stop

If you want to curb or stop the violence then be a true friend and stand up against all negative behavior. When your friends want to get drunk, do drugs, etc. don't just simply say no, try to be a positive influence. Don't hang around violent individuals, drug dealers, those who carry weapons, etc. and if possible while maintaining your own safety, report these individuals to the appropriate authorities.

I agree with Patty that parents play a major role in the positive or negative that comes from their child. So many parents today either choose to ignore their children, ignore their negative behavior or wish to be their "friends" instead of being their parents. However, by the time someone reaches 16, they are able to determine for their selves the difference between right and wrong and there are others they can turn to for positive guidance and peer support as needed. I am sure it can be very difficult in many neighborhoods but it is not impossible with the proper will power, self-determination and help from God by simply asking him on a daily basis.

All too often we witness the tears from tragedy only to see many leave and get into cars with guns their selves or leave with vengeance in their hearts. Until you start doing your part to help solve the problem with yourself and those around you then you will continue to have more of the same problems.

Doing the same thing over each day while expecting a different outcome is insane.

Dr. Frazier and many others are there to show support and they truly care. It is those in life who talk with you, try to give you positive advice and hold you accountable for your actions that are true to you in life and really have your best interests in mind.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 12/17/11 - 05:23 pm
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I agree allhans, though I'd

I agree allhans, though I'd like to see more FATHERS who live outside the home be the first involved in their childrens lives.

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 12/17/11 - 06:11 pm
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The breakdown of the black

The breakdown of the black family brought about by the Great Society programs of the 60's coupled with less personal responsibility and fewer economic choices for minorities are definitely factors in these types of killings. But let's not forget the recent upsurge in "gangsta" culture that glorifies not being "dissed" and eschews more cerebral forms of problem solving within the young minority community. Until these kids are taught otherwise by those they idolize, namely rappers and athletes,this won't change. Sad...

nothin2show4it
120
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nothin2show4it 12/17/11 - 10:24 pm
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While I will agree that it is
Unpublished

While I will agree that it is in the family but if you do not think that Washington politicians are not taking care of increasing the wealthy's fortune then really you do not completely understand the major factor of the whole problem. Our government, republican, democrat and yes our president take care of the rich first and foremost. I'm not saying I am against rich people what I am saying is that the government will take care of them and then publicly denounce them. I don't trust any politician in DC. If they aren't crooks now they will be soon. Getting re-elected begins the slippery slope.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 12/17/11 - 11:47 pm
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nothin2show.....I agree with

nothin2show.....I agree with your post. And just remember it works EXACTLY the same way for local politics.

AMEN to your last post asitis....it's the people who talk to the kids and hold them responsible that REALLY care about their future. To a young person it may seem the opposite but we need to continue to get the message across.

painfully honest
6
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painfully honest 12/17/11 - 11:20 pm
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Gripweed, you are way out of
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Gripweed, you are way out of touch with reality. This kind of thing could happen in any neighborhood from Cherry Tree to Jones Creek. This has nothing to do with a "gangsta" mentality. This kid just ran up against with a "bad egg." Don't try to make it more than it is.

itsanotherday
0
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itsanotherday 12/18/11 - 01:13 am
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Patty sez: " I agree allhans,
Unpublished

Patty sez: " I agree allhans, though I'd like to see more FATHERS who live outside the home be the first involved in their childrens lives."

Yes, yes, YES!! This is why I say that before we as taxpayers pay a dime to the support of a welfare child, we should first require that the mother name the father. If he denies it or she isn't sure, then DNA test the possibilities until we are sure. Hold him accountable financially for support and there is a greater likelihood that he will stay close and be involved in that child's life. Win/Win.

leebraxjr
270
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leebraxjr 12/18/11 - 08:48 pm
0
0
With respect to the families

With respect to the families and friends involved in this shameless killings and many before, the answer to all these problems can be found in the Book of Revelations. The devil is after I youth in full effect and those adults who hang on the streets and give these kids false security bear a lot of responsibility.
I have been hearing to much about how good a kid is, it is time to start teaching and training our kids to be God fearing, and make them understand that person they want to hurt or kill is the same person in the mirror you look at. They have to understand that death goes beyond their comprehention.
\We must show that people love and not hate!!!!

itsanotherday
0
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itsanotherday 12/18/11 - 11:23 pm
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leebraxjr, It isn't as
Unpublished

leebraxjr, It isn't as complicated as all that. It is just a metter of FORCING personal responsibility by revoking public financial support of illegitimate births, and forcing the sperm donors of these children to support them. We will never succeed until we embrace the idea of intact families.

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