Apartment complex where CMPD officers were killed faces challenges a decade later

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Ten years after the fatal shootings of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark at the Timber Ridge Apartments in east Charlotte, the complex has not successfully turned the corner against drugs, violence, or gun play.

Getting by daily requires top-notch survival skills.

Beyond the chain-link barriers inside the complex, police patrols are part of the landscape at the Timber Ridge Apartments. Outside the fences, one person is now seeking the good that people in the complex have to offer.

Every day over the last few weeks, Emmanuel Yulee has brought his Bible, soaps, oils, and a lot hope all with the intention of making a few dollars and a big difference.

He knows the odds are stacked against his customers.

"Don't see no kind of way out of their condition, and I guess sometimes you seem like you're trapped," he said.

In addition to law and order, other challenges contribute to a difficult environment.

For decades, steady business came to the nearby KT Express from the people of Timber Ridge, but in recent months it's been reduced to a vacant plywood shell that wears the scars of broken glass and aggressive vandalism.

Meanwhile, residents who call Timber Ridge home view safety through different lenses.

One resident who didn't want to give his name doesn't see any issues.

"So far, to me, it's pretty safe over here," he said.

However, safety is something that's in the eye of the beholder.

From March of 2016 to March of 2017, CMPD has responded to more than 50 calls for service at Timber Ridge, and that's just for two buildings alone.

When you talk to residents who live there, they're quick to point out that much of the trouble that occurs is brought in from outsiders.

Eugene Fuller has called the complex home for more than a decade. His rules for keeping the piece are simple.

"Mind your business, make friends with who you want to make friends with, make enemies, just stay by yourself," he said.

For some, coping does come through isolation. On nearby Milton Road, Yulee is not about to write off his neighbors.

"I find hope through them," he said. "That's where I find my hope."?

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