One year after homicide, neighbors in Old Hawthorne take security measures

10 months 4 days 23 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
By: Eric Graves, Reporter KOMU 8 News
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COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year after a man was killed on their street.

“Up to this point we've never had any incidents other than the one that happened, but obviously, naturally, we were more cautious of our surroundings," said Talha Riaz, he lives a few houses down from where the homicide happened.

Riaz lives with his wife and eight-month-old daughter.

On Dec. 11, 2017, Augustus Roberts was killed. Columbia Police Department called it a homicide.

“We had heard good reviews, but it was very surprising for us when it happened and we were in shock for, literally, a very long time," Riaz said.

Now, a year later, neighbors still have a lot of questions. CPD has not given any updates since the days following the killing.

“I am surprised we haven't caught the people who did it and why this was happening in the first place," Riaz said. 

After the homicide, Riaz took matters into his own hands to try and keep his family safe.

"We put cameras around the property just to kind of make sure it gets a little bit of monitoring when we’re not here," he said.

KOMU 8 talked to several residents on Lasso Circle. More than half of them had some kind of security system.

Travis McCubbin, the General Manager of Old Hawthorne, said residents also have formed neighborhood watch groups.

In the days following the homicide, CPD confirmed the incident involved a home invasion and drug use.

During a Police Review Board meeting, almost a year ago, CPD Chief Ken Burton talked briefly about the incident. 

"It's one of those things that if we could get rid of drugs and gang affiliation and things like that, and people behave a little bit better we wouldn't have them at all," Burton said, referring to home invasions. 

You can find KOMU 8's original story here.

McCubbin said the homicide was a surprise to him and everyone else in Old Hawthorne.

He said Roberts had been renting the home on Lasso Circle for a few months before he was killed.

McCubbin added that of the 600 homes in Old Hawthorne, about 10 percent are rentals.

He said the rentals are "Executive Style Rentals." They're expensive and usually do not attract criminals.

Riaz he said he hopes in the future those who own the rental properties will make sure they take a close look at the people who are trying to rent the property. 

KOMU 8 reached out to Silver Leaf Holdings, LLC, the group that owns the rental property where the homicide happened. The owner, Mike Hill, declined to comment.

CPD told KOMU 8 there are no updates to the case.

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