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Neighbors question safety tactics after woman shot in Lancaster, S.C.; housing authority stays silent

A WBTV crew walking the neighborhood reported the office closed unexpectedly leaving residents to wonder if their safety is a priority.
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 2:54 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) - One person is in jail and another dead after an argument turned deadly Saturday afternoon in Lancaster, S.C.

Police were called to the 2300 block of Caroline Court around noon. There, they found 38-year-old Takeisha Massey had been shot multiple times. Investigators says she was inside the apartment where another woman and her small child were as well. They witnessed the murder, according to police report.

According to police, Curtis Townsend, 21, is believed to have shot Massey during an argument before throwing the gun and hiding in an outside trash can. He was located and taken into custody.

”One siren after another after another,” says Rita Coleman, who lives in the neighborhood and has for 15 years.

Coleman was not frightened by all the commotion Saturday afternoon. She was not surprised to hear about the murder that occurred in broad daylight on the other side of her complex. She recalled what her neighbor told her the day she moved into Caroline Courts.

”He said you don’t have to worry all the murder, raping and robbing is going down there in the valley,” says Coleman.

Coleman says gun violence is not uncommon here - having experienced it herself firsthand.

”It went into my bedroom, through my bedroom and into the bedroom of my next apartment,” she says.

Massey was taken to MUSC-Lancaster with life-threatening injuries, where she later died.

Lancaster County Coroner’s Office has scheduled an autopsy for later this week.

Caroline Courts has multiple security cameras placed throughout the neighborhood to help prevent crime, but Coleman calls the cameras useless because she says the housing authority, who is supposed to review them, does not use them correctly. It is a common concern among neighbors.

A WBTV crew counted about 10 cameras walking around this neighborhood.

”If you report it to the office they say well did you get their name and their license number. Like do I look like the police? Unless somebody gives them the license number and the time for them to look at the film they’re not going to sit there and look at the whole film,” explains Coleman.

”A lot of stuff still happens here so I’m not sure if the cameras actually work. Like I said it’s a hassle to even get footage for the camera,” says Stephanie Robinson, who lives at Caroline Courts as well.

Robinson lived here as a child and is now back. Another area she says is lacking are security guards.

”When I lived here they had security. They literally lived here and they would ride through. They have no security here now,” says Robinson.

WBTV tried to talk to the housing authority about these concerns. When WBTV spoke to the executive director Monday morning, she told a crew she would get back to them. We have not heard back.

The crew walking the neighborhood reported the office closed unexpectedly leaving residents to wonder if their safety is a priority.

“I don’t really know. Yeah I don’t know,” says Robinson.

This incident is under investigation by the Lancaster Police Department, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Lancaster County Multijurisdictional Violent Crime Task Force.

Anyone with information on this incident or any other investigation should contact the Lancaster Police Department at 803-283-1171, the Special Operations Unit at 803-283-1174 or the Anonymous Tip Line 803-289-6040.

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