Elderly Man Carjacked, Murdered

WVIR reported this evening that 81-year-old Fulton Scruggs was carjacked and murdered in Charlottesville this afternoon. The elderly man was giving a ride to 20-year-old Robert Preston Taylor and a 16-year-old juvenile when they attempted to carjack him, shooting him twice in the head in the process. The two suspects escaped on foot, though they were quickly apprehended by police. Scruggs died at the hospital early this evening. WINA has a brief story.

9 thoughts on “Elderly Man Carjacked, Murdered”

  1. I live a few doors down from the crime scene. It is normally a quiet neighborhood, and everyone seems to feel safe. There are usually children playing in the street and people out jogging and walking their dogs. The people I saw today were shocked that something like this could happen here.

    When I got home from work they still had the road blocked off and 29 news was giving a report. There seemed to be a lot of confusion about what actually happened. Everyone knew there was a shooting, and assured me that the suspects had been caught, but no one knew how or why it happened.

  2. They should string up both of those guys …(assuming they are proven guilty by a fair trial by their peers). There is no excuse for deviant, simply evil behavior such as this.

  3. I often wonder what is going through someone’s head who kills someone during a robbery. It’s such a waste. Instead of walking off without the car, they kill him and run off without the car. Why does this happen?

    The worst part is that even if we arrest everyone who thinks they can solve their problems with a gun, there will be masses of young people like this standing in wait. The sad reality is that there is a subculture in this society that says crime is a legitimate way of life. And that those who live that way should be revered and emulated by younger members of that culture. There are people out there who WANT to go to prison, because once they get out they’ll be in a higher standing within their community. Its sad, and it will continue to be sad until something shifts and replaces this seemingly unstoppable pattern in american culture.

    We may find out that other people were involved once this story evolves. An 18 year old can’t legally go out and buy a handgun or ammunition. Where did he get the gun from? Was it stolen? Was it sold to him? Was it given to him?

  4. According to the Progress, “The weapon was stolen earlier in the day from a residence in the Southwood mobile home park in Albemarle.”

  5. I too, am curious as to what exactly was going through their heads. I am more troubled by the “subculture… that says crime is a legitimate way of life.”

    Where are the roots of this underbelly of ignorant people who are apparently so thirsty for 3 hots and a cot? Or did I just answer my own question? What do we do to rip out those roots?

    Part of the answer is that upon determination of the origins of the gun, I hope that the police will find and charge all who were involved.

    Too bad for the both, but mainly 16 year old that his life no longer will be his to manage. Regardless, they each made the choice individually to be in that situation, and I for one hope that they reap the consequences.

  6. I concur that part of the problem is the glorification of violence in American culture–young people seem especially prone to buy into that. Seems to me another part is the “no-future” problem–unless they belong to the middle/upper-middle classes, many young people see nothing promising in their future. If college is unlikely, if the jobs you’re headed towards are dead-end, if you aren’t working towards a goal, then why worry about staying out of trouble? I’m middle class, and I too see these actions as “stupid” and “senseless”, but maybe that’s because I have a future, a marriage, a child, a career that I care about. What if I never expected to have anything that I valued so much that it mattered what I did today? (Please note: I don’t know anything about the kids who committed this carjacking/murder–I’m riffing on the problem in general).

    And finally, I think that teens and even some young adults are simply impulsive, in much the same way that toddlers and children are impulsive. Their reasoning processes are immature–they act before they think. Usually this is not such a big problem, but when you make guns available to such impulsive, nonrational thinkers, guess what happens? Triggers get pulled rather impulsively. And the consequences of that are indeed huge.

    I’ve always found it terrifying that firing a gun requires so little physical effort–you’re holding the gun in your hand, your finger is on the trigger, and all you have to do is squeeze that trigger and someone is dead, just like that. You don’t even have to be particularly enraged–it’s just a flex of your finger muscles.

    Please note: I’m not “excusing” what these kids did. I’m just trying to understand the mindset that allows this to happen, because the mindset is pervasive. If we don’t try to understand it, if we just say “it’s evil” and therefore it deserves no more investigation, then we’ll never make any headway against it.

  7. I agree that a simple response of “it’s evil” is not an answer … I think that a stupid social structure produces stupid kids who make stupid decisions and then are often shocked to discover that there are consequences for their actions.

    This crime seems to, on the surface, highlight the quandry in which we as a society find ourselves. Our society has become materialistic and shallow (in my opinion). Thus, children are left to their own devices while their parents, guardians, foster-families, what-have-you, work. I remember when I was a kid, and I was able to sneak away from my parents, I played with matches, and thought that was pretty bad. Now, kids with little or no supervision find themselves with easy access to guns, not having the luxury of any training beyond what they have seen on T.V.

    Stupid parents breed stupid kids who are shocked to realize that stupid decisions lead to sometimes severe consequences … Then again, some people are, quite simply, evil. All the love and supervision in the world cannot change that.

    –My two cents.

  8. The word “evil” sucks the life and impact out of any argument. period. it’s a totally subjective term and, in my opinion, as a concept describes a nonexistent thing.

    It repeatedly comes up in conversations about stuff like this. “Some people are just evil”. “Terrorists are evil”. No they’re not! They think they’re doing the right thing, and you disagree! What is evil about that? What the hell is evil, anyway?

    People do horrible things. If you’re going to make an argument as to why, don’t undermine yourself by accepting evil as a reason or purpose.

    this is just intended as a side note regarding argumentative style. i dont mean to be overly aggressive about it, but it is frustrating. people have good, valid things to say and acknowledging evil just takes the weight out of the whole thing.

  9. I tend to believe that modern television and music “glorifies” thug life, etc. and the use of guns. These kids are parked in front of the TV watching music videos that are violent. This is common in rap videos. I am disgusted that this issue is never dealt with for the fear of offending someone; however, I myself am posting this message anonymously due to my employment restrictions. Another problem in society with these kids wanting to look the part of the “thug” is piss-poor parenting. When these little punks screw up, the parents should also be brought to trial to be asked, “where were you and what did preventive steps did you take to keep your child from being a thug?

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