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Families rally in North Augusta to stop violence

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NORTH AUGUSTA — As she held flowers, people approached Barbara Smith near the end of an anti-violence rally Saturday to express condolences and support.

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Paige Brightharp leads the Laura Grove Baptist Church youth choir in song at a Stop the Violence rally held at Lions Memorial Field in North Augusta.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Paige Brightharp leads the Laura Grove Baptist Church youth choir in song at a Stop the Violence rally held at Lions Memorial Field in North Augusta.

Smith’s son, Travis Smith, was fatally shot Sept. 29 at Ridge­view Manor Apart­ments off Bradleyville Road in North Augusta. Boskie was his nickname, and Saturday’s event was called the Team Bos­kie Presents Stop the Violence Rally.

Officers found Travis Smith on the couch in an apartment with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

A witness told officers that she and Smith were standing outside the apartment when two men in hooded sweatshirts approached. The woman ran inside the apartment and heard a gunshot, according to police.

The investigation into the case continues.

“I just wish that they would have a conscience and realize what they’re doing to the family,” Smith said of those who know something but aren’t talking. “Even if they do it anonymously, it would be appreciated.”

Chervais Greene, Travis’ cousin, also urged people to step forward.

“Put yourself in our family’s situation,” he said. “You would want someone to answer for what they did.”

The rally Saturday afternoon at Lions Me­mor­ial Field drew family members, friends and community members. Several families of other people killed or affected by violence also attended.

Speakers included the Rev. Earl Carter, who had been shot in the neck in 2005 at a North Augusta Huddle House. Carter’s friend William Powell was killed in the incident and another person was injured. The case remains unsolved.

Saturday’s speakers urged the crowd to reach out to children, live for God, not isolate themselves and to get involved.

Travis Smith’s sister, Tyesha Sim­mons, organized the event and was pleased with the turnout.

“It feels really good to see this many people coming together for Travis, our family and other families,” she said.

Simmons said she hopes the dialogue continues and that the community continues to speak out and stand up against violence.

In Smith’s case, authorities have determined the gun used was a .38 Special or a .357-caliber. No motive or suspects have been identified.

North Augusta Public Safety believes someone has information that could be the “missing piece of the puzzle,” said Lt. Tim Thornton, who also spoke briefly at the rally.

“I’m hoping someone in this crowd knows something, or knows someone who knows something, and will come talk to us,” he said before the start of the rally. “However small it may seem, it could be the missing piece we’ve been looking for.”

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Jane18 12/02/12 - 05:15 am
Turn In A Murderer

I can't and won't say what I think about people that have the "snitchin" reason for not reporting a murderer or any criminal, to law enforcement. And if it is fear keeping people from talking, you will be kept that way, the bad guys like to intimidate, because most of them are a bunch of cowards. Tyesha I'm happy for you that your rally had a good turnout, now if someone would just come forward...........Maybe some kind of reward could be offered if an arrest and conviction could be made, something to think about........

seenitB4 12/02/12 - 09:02 am
Turn in the punks

The only way to stop this..

soapy_725 12/02/12 - 09:58 am
Somebody is to blame.

Somebody needs to do something. Somebody is responsible. If we could only identify this SOMEBODY who is at the root of all of our problems and apparently the solutions. Somebody please step forward. Somebody help us.

OpenCurtain 12/02/12 - 02:34 pm
If this is more than just speeches and they truly want To Stop

The Violence?

Have them start teaching their kids and neighbors,when a person robs, steals, assaults, deals dope, pimps out teens, has a gun or shoots someone. That, that person is Harming the Whole Community.

Teach them it is not squealing, Narc'ing, stooling, drop a dime,or whatever words that are used to protect criminals and the scum of the earth.

The 1st step to stopping the violence is dialing 911

North Augusta/Aiken Co. has a great 911 system. Their 911 system only asks limited questions and gets right to the point.

So it won't take but a minute to call.

rmwhitley 12/03/12 - 06:27 pm
Blacks don't trust

cops. Violence in the Black community is here to stay. Your new sheriff will be ineffective because he grew up in the culture and won't be able to change it. Just look at Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. Murder, under black leadership, is at all-time highs. Whites can't control the out-of-control communities, either. Good luck.

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