After a community member was shot and killed in what police determined to be a gang-related shooting, one Georgia sheriff is telling parents to be attentive to how they are raising their children.
“Parents, if you have young men and young ladies who glorify the gang lifestyle and emulate what they see represented to them by those people, you need to step up, be a parent, and stop them now if you love them,” Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said on the office’s Facebook page. “If you don’t, chances are that you’ll end up as another parent with a child either in prison or in the ground. If you don’t believe me there are parents in this community that will testify to that fact to you.”
He relayed the story of 22-year-old Jacqueris Holland, who he said was murdered on May 27 in a gang-related crime.
But Holland himself was not a gang member. Instead, according to Dix, he was a well-liked and well-respected member of the community who had never engaged in the gang lifestyle.
“Jacqueris was a cosmetology student at Southern Crescent Technical College. He was a good student who was making good grades,” Dix said. “He was well liked by other students and staff. His goal was to save his money and open his own barber shop. He was cutting hair as a side job and was nearer to his goal than ever.”
Dix noted that oftentimes, after such a killing, members of the community say that the victim had previously been engaged in gang activities but were getting their lives together.
The sheriff said that Holland already had his life together.
“You always hear people in news interviews talking about how the person who was killed was ‘getting their life together,’ ‘going to college,’ ‘had goals,’ and ‘was a friend to people,’ ‘was loved by everybody that knew him,'” Dix said. “I can tell you that Jacqueris Holland was not that guy. Jacqueris was not working on it, Jacqueris Holland was it. He had his life together, he was going to college, he had made goals, he was working toward those goals, he was a friend to many people, and was loved by everyone that knew him.”
Dix said that Holland was murdered in a drive-by shooting while he was driving in his own vehicle.
He said that his entire Criminal Investigation Division (CID) “has stopped almost everything they are doing and have worked this case.”
Dix also put a warning out to gang members.
“These gang members should realize that people will eventually reach their limit. The houses they are shooting at cannot shoot back, but people who live in them that are fed up will,” he said. “After they do, nobody wants to hear about how you were getting your life together. Riding around, shooting up houses, shooting people, and terrifying good folks, does not sound like getting your life together to me or anyone else.”
_ _ _
Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Darrell Dix” by Spalding County Sheriff’s Office. Background Photo “Police Officer and Crime Scene Tape” by Derek Bridges. CC BY 2.0.