Arrest in 2010 shooting gets mixed reaction from families involved

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The mother of 25-year-old Drakkar Groce can’t believe he’s responsible for a shooting in 2010 that left a Columbus woman paralyzed.

“I was shocked,” Cherita Groce said. “I just couldn’t believe it. To be shooting…I don’t believe it.”

She says her son, though not perfect, has never owned a gun. Columbus Police believe they have the right man, saying Groce was a participant in the shooting of Alix Reese.

A police report from May 27, 2010, says an unidentified male, between houses on Atchenson Street and Trivette Avenue, fired gunshots at a group of individuals standing on the other side of the street.

At that same time, 25-year-old Reese was driving by. She was hit by a bullet in the neck, paralyzing her from the neck down.

As horrible as that is, Cherita is standing behind her son.

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“I hate that that happened to the lady because she’s young, too, and her life is in a wheelchair,” she said. “But, I just don’t understand why it would take six years and why would [Drakkar] be the one that they feel done it.”

She doesn’t believe Drakkar was in the neighborhood that night. Groce’s cousin, Dionne Harris, wonders about the evidence.

“How can you determine what bullet came from who,” she asked.

She also says, though Groce’s criminal history is peppered with drug and alcohol charges, he’s never been affiliated with a gang.

“The police label them,” Harris said. “They got to be a gang because they hang around each other or is it because they’re black and you’re just racially profiling them?”

Now Groce’s family is hoping for justice for both Drakkar and Reese.

“That’s why I’ve been crying all day,” Groce said. “I really feel bad for [Reese], but I really don’t think Drakkar did it.”

“At this point, you just got to put your trust in God,” Harris said. “Not man, not the system or anything else. You got to put your trust in God because God knows what happened that night.”

Hearing the news of the arrest, 10TV visited Reese at Villa Angela, who says she trusts law enforcement that the right person has been arrested.

“[Drakkar Groce] just seems like an awful person,” she said. “I want to see him in jail and I’ll be satisfied. But if I ever see him I want to tell him you put me in this position.”

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Reese said the arrest brings her a sense of peace, knowing a person is now being held accountable for what happened to her.

“This definitely has helped me now that they caught a suspect,” she said. “It gives me hope knowing that I’m still the same person that I was before and I can think and do and act everything myself and that I’m still alive.”

Following the shooting, Reese said she was angry and confused. But now she says there’s no point in feeling those ways because it doesn’t help her recovery.

“[I] try to keep strong and look at each day as a new day,” she said.

Groce has been charged with one count of felonious assault. He is currently being held on a $1 million bond.