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Riverdale police seek late-night shooting suspects

Photo by Curt Yeomans
Police move in and out of a Riverdale apartment where David Rucker, a 25-year old father, was shot to death Thursday night. Police are searching for the unknown gunman.

Photo by Curt Yeomans Police move in and out of a Riverdale apartment where David Rucker, a 25-year old father, was shot to death Thursday night. Police are searching for the unknown gunman.

A 25-year old Riverdale father died late Thursday while trying to protect his children from a gunmen who had broken into his family’s apartment, police have confirmed.

David Rucker, 25, was shot in the chest at 10 p.m., at his apartment, located at the Brooks Crossing Apartments complex, at 8050 Taylor Road, in Riverdale, in a case that left family members and neighbors with serious questions about who could have been behind the crime. Police have little to go on, other than the vague description of a man Rucker’s wife described as wearing black clothes, a ski mask and gloves.

The wife told police she believed the gunman was a black male, and that another person may have broken into the apartment with the shooter.

“Officers found the back window to be open as the entry point and located a chair on the outside air conditioner,” said Riverdale Police Chief Samuel Patterson, in a written statement. “EMS [Emergency Medical Services] transported the victim to Southern Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased. ... The investigation is ongoing.”

Police announced Friday that Rucker and his wife, who has not been identified by law enforcement, were watching TV in their bedroom when they heard “banging” at the back door of the upstairs apartment. The wife told police she had also, simultaneously heard the window blinds rustling “as if someone had entered the apartment,” according to Patterson.

Rucker reportedly told his wife to grab the couple’s children and hide in the back bedroom and call 911, while he went to investigate the noises that they were hearing. The wife told police she then heard her husband arguing with someone, and telling them that his children were in the apartment.

“As one of the offenders attempted to enter the kid’s bedroom, she observed and could hear a struggle between her husband and one of the offenders,” Patterson said. “She stated she heard one gunshot, and when she looked out of the bedroom door, she observed her husband to be face down in the hallway.”

As police went back and forth out of Rucker’s apartment, neighbors came out of adjacent buildings at the complex to see what was going on. Several friends and family members frequently spoke with police and emergency responders inside a taped-off area of the parking lot. Several neighbors were asking each other, and members of the media, what had happened.

At one point, a woman who would only identify herself as the victim’s aunt, came out of the taped-off area, and said family members were being given little information about what had happened to Rucker. She said she rushed to the scene after getting a call from her daughter to let her know about the shooting.

“We don’t know what happened ... they won’t tell us anything,” the woman said. “When I got here, he was in the ambulance, and I just saw them working on him, and then they just drove off [to take him to the hospital] ... Somebody just breaks into your apartment and shoots you, that doesn’t make sense to me.”

Twenty minutes later, after she returned to the taped-off area of the parking lot, the woman broke down in tears, and collapsed into a young man’s arms, when she received news about her nephew’s condition.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call Riverdale police at (770) 909-5418.