Crime

Accused shooter of teen in Bloomfield once shared concerns about ‘bad blacks’

Witness: Woman who shot black teen has used 'racial slurs'

New details in the shooting of 15-year-old Vernon Marcus Jr. emerged on Tuesday in Bibb County Magistrate Court. A witness to the alleged shooting said Elisabeth Cannon, accused of wounding Marcus, had in the past used racial slurs when confrontin
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New details in the shooting of 15-year-old Vernon Marcus Jr. emerged on Tuesday in Bibb County Magistrate Court. A witness to the alleged shooting said Elisabeth Cannon, accused of wounding Marcus, had in the past used racial slurs when confrontin

Postings around Elisabeth Cannon’s house warn folks to stay away.

“Private property, no trespassing,” reads a sign on a tree in her front yard.

“Keep out,” bold orange letters declare on another sign on the locked chain link fence at 4030 Bloomfield Drive.

“No solicitation” is penned on the screen door.

Burglar bars are on the windows, but Cannon was not going to be a prisoner in her own house.

That’s what the former nurse told The Telegraph in 2013 for the “Macon in the Mirror” project with the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University.

She shared concerns about the safety of her neighborhood off Rocky Creek Road.

“Everybody tells me I shouldn’t come out of the house,” said Cannon, referring to herself as an “unbreakable Christian.”

“If anybody shoots or kills me, I’ll be in a better place. ... I may have bars on my house, but I’m not gonna live behind bars.”

Cannon was in jail Tuesday.

She was locked up just before midnight Monday, hours after allegedly shooting 15-year-old Vernon Marcus Jr., who was walking past her house just before 8 p.m., investigators said.

Cannon was charged with aggravated assault, although few details were released about the shooting.

Bibb County sheriff’s deputies said Marcus was with some friends when they heard several shots.

Then they noticed he had been shot in the head.

Marcus fell on the sidewalk, about 30 feet from Cannon’s circular driveway.

He was rushed to Medical Center, Navicent Health, in critical condition.

In speaking to The Telegraph four years ago, Cannon, a former nurse who is white, was asked what frustrates her about Macon and what concerns she has about her neighborhood.

“I have some really good black neighbors,” Cannon said.

Marcus, who is black, is believed to live nearby, said a young woman who lives a couple doors down and heard several gunshots Monday night.

In her 2013 interview with The Telegraph, Cannon went on to say: “But the good blacks won’t get onto the bad blacks. You try not to profile, but at the same time 99.9 percent of the crime is gonna be, most often, a black male. ... The good blacks are too busy. They walk by your house, they won’t give it a second look. ... You can tell if they’re just out walking for exercise or going to the store or whether they’re up to something.”

Cannon lives a short walk from the convenience store at the corner of Rocky Creek Road.

Eric Thomas Jones runs the 1st Choice Detail Shop & Auto Sales in between and notices the foot traffic to the store.

He, too, posted “no trespassing” signs and fenced his property after cars were stolen, broken into and vandalized at his shop.

“We have to work together as a community to try to deter stuff,” Jones, who is black, said. “There’s a few of them they’ll try to provoke you.”

Jones has met Cannon and understands she doesn’t want people trespassing through her property.

“Young people are in their own world and they can make you mad quickly,” Jones said.

He tries to keep up with the parents of young people so that he can contact them if he has a problem with teens being disrespectful.

“You have to restrain yourself from responding to them because it’s easy for one thing to lead to another and there’s consequences,” he said.

Jones applauded the Bloomfield community’s march to put down the guns Saturday after the recent shooting of pizza delivery driver Brooklyn Rouse on Vivian Drive.

“We’ve got to stay on it. We can’t get slack ‘cause, you know, trouble’s coming every day, too often, too soon,” Jones said. “It takes a whole community to make everything better for the people that live in it — especially the old people who work real hard. They have a right to enjoy their house and sit on their porch.”

Cannon is expected to make a first appearance in court on the charge Tuesday afternoon.

Information from The Telegraph archives contributed to this report. Joe Kovac Jr.: 478-744-4397, @joekovacjr

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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