Columbia County teen takes own life, sets house afire, officials say

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 1:48 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 3:04 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Columbia County authorities said today it appears an 18-year-old Evans man took his own life after setting his parents' home on fire.

“Evidence suggests arson/suicide,” said Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. “It remains an open death investigation. It is premature to rule anything out, or in for that matter.”

A passerby called in the fire at 997 Windmill Lane about 4:30 a.m. Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue personnel found the body of Alexander Blake Cooper inside.

Capt. Morris said Mr. Cooper, who had previously attended Greenbrier High School, had what “appears to be a gunshot wound to the head. ... A weapon was recovered from the scene.”

An autopsy performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta determined that Mr. Cooper died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie Holloway said.

Mr. Cooper’s parents, with whom he shared the home, were out of state at the time.

The fire started in a front bedroom of the two-story brick home in the Windmill Plantation subdivision, said Honey Shore, a Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue spokeswoman. Mr. Cooper’s body was found in another room.

Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control and contained most of the fire damage to the front bedroom.

Martinez-Columbia fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire. The state Fire Marshal's Office was called in to assist with the investigation, Ms. Shore said.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110 or

valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (45) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
coolette
10
Points
coolette 10/15/09 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Was he currently in high

Was he currently in high school?

sugarbutton
612
Points
sugarbutton 10/15/09 - 02:57 pm
0
0
How horrible. A parents

How horrible. A parents greatest fear! My prayers to friends and family. Devastating to lose a child under any circumstances.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/15/09 - 03:10 pm
0
0
Does it matter? If he was a

Does it matter? If he was a student, he wouldn't be there at 4 in the morning.
Prayers go out to this family, not only do they now grieve for the death of there son, but must cope with why he did it.

klsm
0
Points
klsm 10/15/09 - 04:20 pm
0
0
Pam we are so sorry for your

Pam we are so sorry for your loss. It is beyond comprehension to lose your child on your birthday. You are in all of our prayers. Your family at GIC.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/15/09 - 04:40 pm
0
0
OMG!! Oh how terribly awful..

OMG!! Oh how terribly awful.. This poor family, I couldn't fathom losing my child this way, but on your birthday to? Please let the family know we offer prayers and thoughts klsm!!

Goaliemom1987
7
Points
Goaliemom1987 10/15/09 - 05:12 pm
0
0
It says he "graduated last

It says he "graduated last year from Greenbrier High School".

augustian
0
Points
augustian 10/15/09 - 05:18 pm
0
0
Why are all these columbia

Why are all these columbia county teens dying lately

411Citizen
0
Points
411Citizen 10/15/09 - 05:31 pm
0
0
Parents must have told him

Parents must have told him they were moving to South Augusta

augustian
0
Points
augustian 10/15/09 - 05:37 pm
0
0
Yes, 411, thats probably it.

Yes, 411, thats probably it. He was probably on drugs like most columbia county teens.

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 10/15/09 - 05:47 pm
0
0
My thoughts and prayers go

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they try to make some sense out of all this. Please know there are people out there who are praying for you at this time. It would be helpful if people would think for just a minute before posting insensitive comments about this young man's death. I cannot imagine what the parents are going through right now.

friendoffamily
0
Points
friendoffamily 10/15/09 - 05:48 pm
0
0
411 and Augustian...Give me a

411 and Augustian...Give me a break! Your comments are rude and uncalled for! I am a friend of the family!! How would you like to be out of town and find out your child died on your birthday?! Have a little respect!

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 10/15/09 - 06:05 pm
0
0
I'm sorry to hear about this.

I'm sorry to hear about this. I hope the investigation is thorough and conclusive so there will be some measure of peace for his family, if there is such a thing as any peace after a child's death. I'll keep them in my prayers.

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 10/15/09 - 06:25 pm
0
0
Terrible. As for those making

Terrible. As for those making the rude comments. Some people will only make these kinds of comments under the cover of anonymity, because they don't have the guts to stand up for themselves. They are the same people that will flip you off or throw something at you from a moving vehicle.

smartie
0
Points
smartie 10/15/09 - 06:28 pm
0
0
the investigations are almost

the investigations are almost always thorough in columbia county. we have an excellent sheriff's dept. in c.c., and are very lucky that, it seems, that everyone cares, from the sheriff, to the investigators, to the deputies. sad story. kids today, i tell you, i just don't know. i would just encourage them to be open and honest. talk about you fears and your problems with your parents, or someone you respect. maybe a teacher, or a pastor. i tell you, if you think it's this bad, you're wrong. trust someone else. condolences to the family.

bthompson86
0
Points
bthompson86 10/15/09 - 06:50 pm
0
0
My prayers and sympathy go

My prayers and sympathy go out to Bruce and his wife! I am an employee at the Kroger on Columbia Road where Bruce worked for many years. What a wonderful guy! He is very well thought of at Kroger!

lady_alessandra
0
Points
lady_alessandra 10/15/09 - 07:19 pm
0
0
I know this family. This is a

I know this family. This is a horrible thing. People who make insensitive comments may one day find themselves in a horrible situation and then they won't like it too much when equally insensitive people make their thoughtless remarks. This family has been through something awful - show a little class and respect.

MrsD
0
Points
MrsD 10/15/09 - 07:30 pm
0
0
Thoughts, prayers and

Thoughts, prayers and sympathy goes out to their family... May God give them the strength to get through this...

pedestrianpete45
0
Points
pedestrianpete45 10/15/09 - 07:41 pm
0
0
People should use better

People should use better judgment before making rude comments especially in this situation. My thoughts and prayers are with this family. Can't even imagine what they must be going through.So sad.

Lumbarsupport
0
Points
Lumbarsupport 10/15/09 - 07:50 pm
0
0
Speculation on this event

Speculation on this event should be suspended. The reasons are not important to those that are not involved. Some of you people on here that post things that meant to disrupt further the lives of real people are utterly disgusting. The Chronicle should suspend this function based on these type posts.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 10/15/09 - 09:13 pm
0
0
Is a question appropriate

Is a question appropriate here? Do you think there's a change the youngster would still be alive if he didn't have a gun handy?

KSL
121403
Points
KSL 10/15/09 - 09:51 pm
0
0
Instant access to news is not

Instant access to news is not always a good thing. This 18 year old had issues that will be dragged before the public. Now it's out there and inquiring minds will want to know. GAS, the bottom line is not whether he had a gun available. After all, he set the house on fire first. He could have had a car and a hose, or a giant bottle of aspirin.

KSL
121403
Points
KSL 10/15/09 - 09:53 pm
0
0
You do mean, chance.

You do mean, chance.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 10/15/09 - 10:12 pm
0
0
There is always a spiritual

There is always a spiritual battle going on for our lives and the lives of those we love. God can give us peace in the midst of the worst situation and our prayers for the family are key for this to happen.

oh man
0
Points
oh man 10/15/09 - 10:35 pm
0
0
Our prayers go out to thed

Our prayers go out to thed family. Blake had been a student at blueridge and lakeside middle. Blake was an incredible young man when he was aroung our family. Blake was always a delightful; sweet young man. Pam, our love, thougts and prayers are with you and your family.

KSL
121403
Points
KSL 10/15/09 - 11:12 pm
0
0
What on earth is going on

What on earth is going on with young people today?. No one, yes no one committed suicide when I was a teenager. No one did it when my children were teenagers. Suddenly it started when they were post graduates. And it now occurs repeatedly.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 10/15/09 - 11:59 pm
0
0
KSL The Bible says satan goes

KSL The Bible says satan goes about seeking whom he can kill and destroy. We have to close every door possible to his influence and his desire to steal the minds of the young. The media in all forms is a powerful tool used by satan. All battles are won or lost in the spiritual before we see the results in the natural.

wandag
0
Points
wandag 10/16/09 - 12:29 am
0
0
My thoughts and prayers go

My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. I lost my step-daughter in May, as a matter of fact the article on her death is in this issue. There is nothing harder than losing a child. My God be with this family and give them strength.

casimir56
10
Points
casimir56 10/16/09 - 01:51 am
0
0
Condolences to the family.

Condolences to the family. What percieved slight by his mother caused him to intentionally do this on her birthday?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 10/16/09 - 03:14 am
0
0
Our condolences to the

Our condolences to the Coopers on their tragic loss!

radiatingtatas
0
Points
radiatingtatas 10/16/09 - 07:56 am
0
0
What a sad story. My

What a sad story. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this child.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Board rejects fine arts charter school

Organizers behind a proposed fine arts charter school in Columbia County said they are optimistic state officials will approve their plan to open a school in 2015 - a plan that was unanimously ...
Search Augusta jobs