Shante Cooper Memorialized with Vigil - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/08/05

Shante Cooper Memorialized with Vigil

People around Savannah are remembering a victim of the city's violent crimes. Someone shot and killed Shante Cooper, a young mother of three, Friday night. Her killer is still on the loose.

Her family and friends echoed Mayor Johnson's call for an end to the violence yesterday. They never thought they'd be holding a vigil to remember Shante, and they say unless the community is ready to take a stand against the crime, anyone's family could be the next victims.

More than a hundred people turned out to remember Shante at a vigil on Harden Street last night, but not one of them wanted to be there. No one wanted to light candles. No one wanted to wear a T-shirt with her picture on it or a pendant bearing her likeness.

They would rather see the bright, smiling face of the 27-year-old. But one violent act changed that forever.

"That was my only friend," said Latrell Boyd. "Where you saw her, you saw me."

Boyd is having a tough time of it. "It was hard. I was taking it hard since she died."

She talked to her dearest friend just hours before she was killed. Now she and Shante's family and friends are calling for the community to take up the mayor's fight against crime.

"I applaud his efforts for getting started, but I will be more satisfied when my niece's killer has been apprehended and is behind bars," said Elaine Scott, Shante's aunt.

Savannah alderman Van Johnson said, "Let us bring her killer to justice."

Johnson, says someone needs to come forward. "There are people who saw what happened, yet refuse to tell and I think until we're sick enough to report what happened and the people we're harboring in our homes, these things will continue to happen."

And will tear more families apart. "It can happen to any family," said Scott. "It can be them tomorrow."

If you have any information about Shante's death, call CrimeStoppers at 234.2020.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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