Victim's family is dealing with loss

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Nicole Carpenter gazed at the ceiling of her mother's home as she remembered her twin brother.

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Angela Hunter sits with a shirt made in honor of Mr.  Carpenter, her nephew. The family planned to wear the shirts on the Fourth of July.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Angela Hunter sits with a shirt made in honor of Mr. Carpenter, her nephew. The family planned to wear the shirts on the Fourth of July.

Two days after Nicolas Martel Carpenter was gunned down at the doorstep of a teen nightclub on North Leg Road, his family gathered inside Diane Murphy's south Augusta home.

"Nick was not a fighter, and I always took up for him when we were kids," Ms. Carpenter said.

"Nick was never about fighting or anything violent," said 33-year-old Eta Henderson, a first cousin.

Mrs. Murphy fought back tears as she spoke about her only son.

"He was an innocent bystander," said the 47-year-old social worker. She said she raised her three children, including Myshyla Carpenter, 14, as God-fearing children who regularly attended church.

"There is nothing that leads us to think he was part of a gang," said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Steve Fanning. "We have not seen anything that ties him to gangs and it's hard to say if he was the intended target.

"There does not appear to be any relationship between he and the shooter," he said.

At about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Carpenter was leaving Club Platinum when a bullet hit him in the stomach in an apparent drive-by shooting.

Sixteen-year-old Denzel Laquan Ward remains in jail and is charged with Mr. Carpenter's murder.

Police said a fight occurred inside the club between two rival south Augusta gangs - Barton Village-based O-dub and Old Savannah Boys of Dogwood Terrace housing project.

After club security forced the fighters to exit the club, it's believed some of the men might have gotten into a vehicle and retaliated by shooting at the club's doorway where a sheriff's deputy stood.

Mr. Carpenter's sister wanted to publicly thank an unknown man named "John" who she said accompanied her brother in the ambulance to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

"John told us that Nick said he loved us," Ms. Carpenter said.

Investigator Fanning said he wasn't sure where the victim was standing when he was shot, but he confirmed that a sheriff's deputy was standing nearby.

"I'm not sure who the intended target was," he said.

The Rev. Annie Freeman, recalled her 24-year-old nephew as "a good child and a loving father." The family attends New Wave Ministries of Augusta where the Rev. Freeman is the minister.

Tiffany Walker, Mr. Carpenter's 20-year-old fiance, sat quietly on a loveseat as she clutched their son, Martel Carpenter, 2, and daughter, Nakiyah Carpenter, 1.

"He was funny," she said of Mr. Carpenter. "He'd come from work and always pick up the kids and play with them."

Mr. Carpenter worked a variety of construction jobs and recently helped renovate Lake Olmstead Apartments, Ms. Walker said.

The couple shared an apartment on Windsor Spring Road.

Martel, simply asks her whether his dad is asleep, while little Nakiyah has not yet realized he won't ever return.

Mrs. Murphy said her son was still getting over the death of his father, who died of liver failure in November.

Jessie Murphy, Mrs. Murphy's husband, sat outside the house and said his grandchildren would be cared for.

"One thing I can say about Nick ... if you needed him, he'd be there for you. He was a very serious young man. And not the type to put himself in dangerous situations like gangs, mainly because he had these two beautiful children to live for," Mr. Murphy said.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (48) Add comment
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justputtin
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justputtin 07/05/07 - 06:54 am
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Very sad, what a waste to

Very sad, what a waste to kill. No reason for it. God bless the family.

JustMe
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JustMe 07/05/07 - 06:58 am
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Why was a 24 year old at a

Why was a 24 year old at a teen nightclub?

getalife
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getalife 07/05/07 - 07:20 am
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My prayers go out to this

My prayers go out to this family, may God bless them. This so-called teen club should be closed because of the violence!! Why would they allow a 24 year old to go in???

stillamazed
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stillamazed 07/05/07 - 07:24 am
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I was wondering the same

I was wondering the same thing..Justme, but I am truly sorry for this young man and especially his mother and his two children. Another life taken for no reason. Augusta really needs to do something about this gang violence before it really gets out of hand.

intheknow
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intheknow 07/05/07 - 07:44 am
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So, it would have made a

So, it would have made a difference if he was leaving another club? The question should be, why was a 16 year old, out at almost 2am?

greenhulk1980
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greenhulk1980 07/05/07 - 08:09 am
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I mean this sucks and all but

I mean this sucks and all but its like my parents always said nothing good happens after midnight. That kid that shot him is a coward though, trying to ambush someone. Be a man if you want to fight.

jsmith1001
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jsmith1001 07/05/07 - 08:12 am
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That's exactly what I was

That's exactly what I was thinking intheknow. Not what was a 24 year old doing at a teen club but why are 16 year olds out that late. What does it matter how old he is? Would it have change opinions if he was at an adult night club? No. A young man was still unnecessarily gunned down.

3572
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3572 07/05/07 - 09:01 am
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Boy some of you really need

Boy some of you really need to get a life why was he there well he has been killed and no one cares why he was there, the point is a innocent life was taken.

ladybug74
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ladybug74 07/05/07 - 09:25 am
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God bless this family as they

God bless this family as they deal with this tragedy.

butterflygina
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butterflygina 07/05/07 - 09:40 am
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I am sorry about the family's

I am sorry about the family's loss. This type of crime has become a common occurrence and is expected now. So sad.

everyday_person
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everyday_person 07/05/07 - 09:45 am
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This is very sad. My heart

This is very sad. My heart goes out to his family.

nicole824
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nicole824 07/05/07 - 10:15 am
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My love goes out to Nick's

My love goes out to Nick's family. His great-aunt is my godmother. The club is not just a teen club. The reason it is called a "teen club" is because they do not serve alcohol(no liquor license for those who have doubts). Sometimes the club hosts parties that are only for the 18 and up crowd. Every club has its problems, they are just not publicized so. This club is about the only place our Black youth can go to for fun. No, they shouldn't behave the way they do sometimes, but we can't punish all of the youth for some that are misguided about their lives.

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 07/05/07 - 10:23 am
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Well, if thats only place our

Well, if thats only place our youth can go for fun.....then we as a community are letting them down. Yes, everry club does have its problems....but problems like being murdered are enough to make me forbid my grands from going when they stay with me. My eldest thinks it was probably a gang initiation rite......shoot someone to prove your loyalty. Sad days.

MyOpinion1
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MyOpinion1 07/05/07 - 10:25 am
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Justme look who cares why he

Justme look who cares why he was there. He was an innocent bystander minding his own business when this punk rides up and start shooting. This family, nor does anyone else need to answer that question. It doesn't matter why he was the point is, this man is gone and his children left without a father, and a mother alone to care for two children. I pray for this family and God will see you through this. He will!!!!! And intheknow I agree with you. Why was that 16 year old in that club. He should of been at home or doing something productive instead of being in that club. JUST CLOSE THE CLUB DOWN! HOW MANY MORE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE TO LOSE THEIR LIFE BEFORE THEY CLOSE IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!

MyOpinion1
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MyOpinion1 07/05/07 - 10:28 am
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NICOLE824, I am sure these

NICOLE824, I am sure these young teenagers can find something else to do that is productive then going to the clubs. There is nothing in those clubs. True you can't punish all youth but hey sometimes you have to do what you think is right to keep the violence from happening again and that is to CLOSE IT DOWN!!!

trekelite
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trekelite 07/05/07 - 10:56 am
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Another victim! How many will

Another victim! How many will it take before people will make the necessary changes required. There are many sides to the story and blaming others doesn't help. There are just too many deaths. Adults, teenagers, or whomever! Need to be held accountable for there actions! Eye for an eye is definitely not the answer but are current options aren't working!

Nicolas Martel Carpenter RIP

dani
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dani 07/05/07 - 11:08 am
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The big problem is that we

The big problem is that we are always blaming somone else.

There will never be enough laws to protect people from their own mistakes or ignorance.

We have to start being responsible for our own lives, folks!

intheknow
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intheknow 07/05/07 - 11:23 am
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i wonder how those of us over

i wonder how those of us over forty survived, without half of the activities that the young people have today. it is not up to anyone but the parents, to find something for them to do.

YESWECAN
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YESWECAN 07/05/07 - 11:38 am
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I used to go to this club

I used to go to this club when I first moved to Augusta. Everytime I went someone got into a fight. It seemed as if people came just to fight. People of all ages come to his club. This club never slows down. By saying that I mean they never play a slow song. they only play songs about representin where you from and bend over an shake this and that. That may be why the two gangs were fighting in the first place. Everybody's jumping around pointed at this person saying nasty things and eventually a fight breaks out. Unfortunately there is no safe place to hang out. You never know what someone is thinking. This an example of just that. It hurts me to know that these kids have to grow up without a father who tried to be there for them, which is more that what I can say for my father. Many young fathers just make kids and don't take care of them, but this guy was trying to be a good father. I can't imagine my son growing up without his father. I don't know if I would be able to handle it myself. Just a tragic situation!!

ripjones
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ripjones 07/05/07 - 12:01 pm
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I am so sorry for the

I am so sorry for the Carpenter's loss. There is a special place in Heaven for the innocents. Oh PLEASE, let me be put on Denzel's trial !!!! If it can be proved that it was gang-related, then please arrest all of the known gang memebers as accomplices!!

divalicious
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divalicious 07/05/07 - 12:22 pm
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How do we not know if Mr.

How do we not know if Mr. Carpenter was there to maybe pick up a family member or a friend that may have needed a ride home? We may never know. May God hold him in His loving arms and wrap His wings around his family

spbethune
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spbethune 07/05/07 - 01:26 pm
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It's sad to the point how

It's sad to the point how people in general judge one another and not really know all the facts. What we all need to realize is the we are living in the last days. Judgement is near and Jesus is going to return. The devil is out there trying to win many souls as possible. He's always busy..... The point is, it doesn't matter where he was, his age nor what he was doing there. God doesn't make any MISTAKES. It's sad that someone had to take his life, but it was his time to go. What everyone must understand is that we are here only a short time. We all got to leave the world someday but don't know how. My heart goes out to his family and children. Some of you that have negative comments need to read the BIBLE. And for the 16 yr. old that shot him will pay for what he did. Family, stay strong and continue to hold on to God's unchanging hand. My prayers and blessing goes out to you all. Be Blessed!!!!!!!!!

GET REAL1
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GET REAL1 07/05/07 - 01:27 pm
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so sad. my prayers go out to

so sad. my prayers go out to the family.

blackberrypie
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blackberrypie 07/05/07 - 02:06 pm
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My condolensce to the family.

My condolensce to the family. May the creator give the family strength.

AsItIs
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AsItIs 07/05/07 - 03:58 pm
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2 small children and he was

2 small children and he was out at 1:45AM? Who was caring for the children then? The single mom already stepped up, sounds like.....Heaven help this whole family.

unknown1
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unknown1 07/05/07 - 04:05 pm
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This establishment needs to
Unpublished

This establishment needs to be closed down "PERIOD". I have been here in Augusta for the past seven (7) years and there has alwasys been problems at that club. It used to be called Tinted Windows. The same problems exist. Just becasuse you change the ownership or name of an establishment does not mean that the clientele will change. When you have young "punks and thugs" commiting a crime, they need to be charged as adults. Before anyone starts "crying" the race card because I referred to those little boys as punks and thugs, I am a well educated single parent who has raised three students currently in college that constantly makes the deans list. I am also an African American female. So please don't try to use the race card as we have enough problems already. These boys should have been home considering there is supposed to be a curfew here in Augusta. The responsibility remains with the parents of these thuugs who want to be so-called gang-bangers. Even with the curfew in place our law enforcement officers can only do so much and it is not the sherriffs responsibility to raise your children so until parents take control of their children the gang problem will continue to arise.

unknown1
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unknown1 07/05/07 - 04:15 pm
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I understand that there are
Unpublished

I understand that there are alot of single parents out there doing the best they can to raise their children, but we as parents needs to be concious of our childrens activities.We need to be involved with our childrens personal life and know where they are, what they are doing, and most importantly who they are associating with. As long as they live under your roof their personal lives go out the window when they are hanging out in the streets. Where and how did this thug obtain the weapon and why didn't his parents know what activity he was engaging in? Yes, we do need to put the responsibility back on the parents. Children needs rules and boundaries and they must learn to respect those rules and boundaries. Denzel is probably sitting in jail crying like a little punk but when he gets to his destination he will not be a bad [filtered word] any longer. There will be plenty of criminals willing to size him up and will not care whether or not he is a teenager. Hopefully, he will be charged as an adult and given the maximum sentence to send a message to other young boys that gang-banging does nothing but destoy lives...yours and the victim. Wake up parents and take your children back.

ebs421
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ebs421 07/05/07 - 06:16 pm
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My heart goes out to the

My heart goes out to the family.Closing down the clubs wont get rid of gangs.Thats where the problem is.Parent need to start raising there children.The males out there that have kids and your not in there lives this is a true signed that you need to be.Right now we are only left with tougher laws to put a end to this nightmare ,before it gets worse.

hisfaith2003
5
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hisfaith2003 07/05/07 - 06:26 pm
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First and fare most, Denzel

First and fare most, Denzel is also the victim. Let's stop calling names. I am really sorrow for the Carpenter family. Two young men have lost there life do to violence. Denzel got caught up with guys that don't give a dam about him and he probably didn't realize that until Sunday. It is hard being a single mom but there are kids out there that have two parents that are also in jail for something or another. Yes Denzel took someones life but, i feel sorry for this young man it one thing to be touch and there is another to take another persons life. I am praying for both families they both lost a love one. and for xy777. We should not judge a child, Denzel was defently missing something in his life. and we have no right to judge, if you want to make comment like that, stand up and do something to help get our kids back. When you see a grown thug taking interest in a young productive young stand up and say something. It take a neighborhood to raise childern. Because beleive me i watch my kids and i am a single mother, parents make a stand when you see something or someone taking interest in your child that shouldn't be don't talk only to your kids talk that person.....

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/05/07 - 06:53 pm
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A child my behind. What was

A child my behind. What was this CHILD, doing out at almost 2 in the morning? What was this CHILD, doing with a gun? Well he might have been a CHILD, before he killed this young man, but his behind better man up, when he meet his cell mates.

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