FAYETTEVILLE: Former Cambridge Arms off-limits to soldiers - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Soldiers barred from leasing in former Cambridge Arms apartments

Posted: Updated:
Police respond to a double murder at Cambridge Arms Apartments in Fayetteville. Police respond to a double murder at Cambridge Arms Apartments in Fayetteville.
Shaniqua Simmons, 18, was shot and killed at the Barrington Place Apartments in May. Shaniqua Simmons, 18, was shot and killed at the Barrington Place Apartments in May.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Service members are now prohibited from leasing apartments in an off-base complex that's been criticized for its high rate of violent crime.

Fort Bragg announced Thursday that service members have been prohibited since June 16 from leasing apartments in Barrington Place, formerly known as Cambridge Arms.

The city and owners of the complex have been at odds over Barrington Place due to what the city called nuisance activity that was occurring on the property.

However the managers of the complex, Southwood Realty Company, contend that crime there is not as bad as the city implies.
Four people have been murdered at the complex since January -- on Jan. 20, two people were shot inside an apartment in the complex; and on May 1, two more were shot and killed inside another apartment.

The family of one of the most recent victims, Shaniqua Simmons, wants the property closed for good.  Douglas Barnes and Clotilda Simmons Barnes told WNCN their daughter was staying with a friend, Jacoy Mahorn, when they were both shot and killed following a robbery.

"She was a very beautiful person and I just wish that she was here today," Douglas Barnes said. "I don't think they really even care or don't care, you know, as long as they get their money from the tenants."

Fort Bragg said its order is temporary, allowing Southwood Realty Company the opportunity to present its case to the Fort Bragg Armed Forces Disciplinary Board.

"This action was taken to keep our uniformed service members and their families away from the criminal activity and behaviors that we at Fort Bragg have been monitoring for some time," Fort Bragg spokesman Ben Abel said.

Service members already living in the complex are not required to move unless a lease renewal occurs while the property is off-limits.

Last month, 19-year-old Ravon Detrail Jordan made a plea to Fayetteville City Council to close Barrington Place due to the gun violence.

"I don't feel like -- as a resident in an apartment complex -- you should be paying basically for your grave site," Jordan said. "You shouldn't be paying to be killed or murdered in your own house. ... When you move into a home, you don't expect to die."

Jordan said despite security in place, little had been done to curb the violence.

"It's crazy that security [will] notice you playing music, they'll notice people outside your house [but] they don't notice gun shots, they don't notice broken windows, they don't notice car alarms going off," Jordan said.

"It's no excuse for you to have as many problems in your apartment complex that they have had," Jordan said. "Like my sister said, 'Changing the name is not going to change the violence at all.'"

On Sunday, Jordan was shot to death outside a house party in the 1500 block of Grandview Drive. Police Chief Harold Medlock said the shooting stemmed from an altercation between two rival "non-traditional" gangs that "apparently have some kind of issue with each other."

While Jordan was not shot at Barrington Place, councilman Larry Wright said he thinks the feelings translate to several areas of the city, including the neighborhood off Raeford Road where Jordan was shot. Wright himself lives one block away.

"The violence can spread quickly from one neighborhood to the next neighborhood, and I don't think we can pinpoint one area," Wright said. "But we need to pinpoint those few that [are] making it bad for the many."

Wright pointed out that city council has approved a budget that adds 47 sworn officers and 12 non-sworn staff members for the police department. He said those additional officers will help reduce violence in the city, but he knows more community involvement is needed.

"I just make a call to all of our citizens, all of our parents and all of our mentors and those that are concerned for lives of our children being lost in the street anywhere at any time, please get involved and let your voices be heard," Wright said.

He said he did not want Jordan’s voice to be in vain.

“It’s very ironic that his life would be lost after crying out for the lives of others," Wright said.

Barrington Place is about 6 miles from Grandview Drive.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow