James Earl Richardson Jr.’s family knows nothing will bring him back to life.
But, four months after he was shot to death, there have been no arrests and his family still doesn’t know why they lost a loved one.
“We just need closure for the family,” said his aunt Janie Richardson. “We the family want justice so we can move on with our lives.”
They called him Scoopy.
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His aunt Daisy Greene said it was because he was such a big baby he had to be “scooped” up.
“When we were younger, we’d always go to my Aunt Daisy’s house and he was real big, bigger than all of us and whenever he jumped on the trampoline he’d make us go real high in the air, said Daniel Ramirez.
Sitting in the Richardson home on Atkinson Street off Waverly Road, his grandparents, aunts, and a handful of cousins wavered between weeping openly when thinking about Scoopy, and laughing about things like a song he made up about his love for cake. They also question what happened and why -- raising their voices in frustration.
He was found face down on the side of Parkersville Road near Julian Rutledge Drive about 12:45 a.m. on May 25, about a year after his father’s death, making the loss more sour. He had been shot multiple times in the torso.
“We weren’t over [the death] of his father,” said Ra-Aisha Richardson, one of his cousins. “It was too soon.”
The Georgetown County Sheriff’s office is still investigating his death, and now a second homicide in the Pawleys Island community. On August 18, Sean Edwards, 21, of New Haven Connecticut was shot at Club Isis.
There has not been an arrest in either murder.
In August, evidence in Richardson’s murder was sent to the State Crime Lab for testing, said Carrie Cuthbertson, spokeswoman for the Georgetown County Sheriff’s office.
Processing that evidence is dependent on the State Law Enforcement Division, Cuthbertson said, and there’s no set time frame to receive the results.
The lack of an arrest has frustrated the family, who still can’t figure out why someone would kill Scoopy, who they said was sweet and always helpful.
“People out there know what’s happened to him and they are not speaking,” said Albertha Richardson, his grandmother who he was living with when he died. “If it were their son or their loved one they would want to know who did that to him and why.”
Still, she said she’s willing to wait patiently if that means justice.
He was attending Waccamaw High School and would be turning 19 on Oct. 11.
“He didn’t have a chance to live his life or nothing,” she said. “He was staying here with me and that’s what makes it so hard. I be thinking about him all the time and praying that there will be some answers to find out who did that to him because nobody deserves to be gunned down like that.”
Scoopy and his grandmother spoke often, even when he wasn’t staying at her home.
“He always gave me a hug and told me he loves me,” she said. “I would tell him I love him too. That was every day and every night and I miss saying them words and I miss him.”
Scoopy had hopes of joining the military, according to his cousin Tony Richardson who said they were raised like brothers.
“He wanted to make his family proud and he wanted to take care of everyone,” he said.
He was unusually clean, constantly washing his hands and cleaning his family’s homes and helped his cousins prepare nurseries for their children.
“Scoopy would sweep two or three times a day,” Albertha Richardson said. “We were trying to find a broom to put in the casket, but we couldn’t find one.”
Salena Ortiz, one of his cousins, was pregnant with her now 2-month-old daughter when Scoopy died. She found peaches in her refrigerator that he had left her right before he died. She said he was always bringing her things like that.
“If you were having a bad day and Scoopy came around he would make you laugh,” she said. “He would make you feel better.”
Shaquana Richardson, another cousin, said an arrest won’t make the pain go away, but will hopefully answer the lingering questions.
“I want to know why,” she said. “What could he have done that was so bad that would make somebody want to kill him?”
Anyone with information on Scoopy’s death can call the Georgetown Sheriff’s Office at 546-5102. Anonymous tips can be sent by texting “GCSOTIP” followed by the message to 274637.