Friends and family shocked by Aaron’s arrest

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The arrest of Thaddeus Aaron, 29, in connection with the investigation by Selma police into the Oct. 20 murder of Helen Roper came as a surprise to his family, friends and neighbors at the Chanticleer Apartment complex at 1200 Woodrow Avenue.

They think of Aaron as a helpful, friendly, outgoing, respectful person.

“My kid and her (Thaddeus’s mother, Patricia Aaron) son grew up together more than 20 years ago,” said the Aarons’ neighbor, Doris Griffin. “Thad, he minded me more than my own kids mind me. And I could get him to do things his mother couldn’t get him to do. He always respected me.”

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Knowing Aaron for as long as she has, the news of his arrest had an expected effect.

“Hurt. Hurt. Very hurt. It was just a shock,” said Griffin. “He always wanted to help people. I just couldn’t believe that it had happened, that he had done that.”

Wendell Griffin, her son, grew up with Aaron. “He’s cool to be around. We grew up together.”

Aaron was his barber at Giant until it closed. He took his barber skills to his mother’s apartment at Chanticleer. Doris and Wendell Griffin remember Aaron cutting hair at no charge for other residents in the complex from time to time.

The news of Aaron’s arrest shocked his mother even more. “I don’t raise a violent family. I raise a meek, weak family,” she said. “We’re not a violent family. We don’t believe in taking a life.”

She thinks that the earlier shooting of her grandson, Joshua Clark — Thaddeus Aaron’s nephew — may have played a role in her son’s involvement in Roper’s shooting.

“I hurt for that family,” said Patricia Aaron. “This dude (Roy Ray Adams, who stands accused of shooting Clark) came out and he done destroyed so many lives. One life was taken — I don’t think it was intentional, I know it wasn’t intentional — one life was almost taken.”

Thaddeus’ former classmate, Jason Hill, grew up with Aaron in G.W.C. Homes. He and Aaron attended school together at Eastside Junior High (now School of Discovery) and Selma High School.

“Thad, he’s cool. He’s a good fella,” said Hill. “I don’t know what got into him. I couldn’t believe it. I had just talked to him. He didn’t tell me he had done anything. He would’ve told me. He was very active, got out and played with the neighborhood.”