Family opens up about man killed in robbery, says he was headed down wrong path

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by Sachelle Saunders

Joshua Drake, 22, could have had a bright future. But, the streets were more enticing than the straight and narrow, and he headed down a deadly path. Family friend Keonia Liddell watched his decline.

"You can't just be out here doing whatever you want to do, you got to either get a job, you need to go to school, do something," she said.

Drake’s father, Antoine Drake, was also fed up with his sons behavior. He said he started to change as a teenager.

"When he got like 15, 16 he just went a whole different row."

Drake's criminal record is short, but shows the beginning of his troubles. In September of 2010 he was arrested for disorderly conduct and domestic abuse. Police say he threatened a family member with a bat and made shooting motions with his hands, and also said he would kill them.

The next month Drake would have a real sawed off shot-gun in an armed robbery. According to the police report, he and a friend stuck up two others in an alley-way, getting off with $250. Over the years family tension came to a boil and just 9 months ago his parents kicked him out.

"We couldn't take it no more, I'm sick, his mom sick, we couldn't take it no more," Drake’s father said.

Drake would meet an untimely end Thursday, August 14th at Innovative Optique. According to police he entered the store hoping to rob it, but instead took a bullet as he shot back and forth with an employee. Friends and family are grieving his loss, but say it is the reality of the situation.

"People got to protect they business, and you know, you can't be mad, you can't be mad at the guy. This is something that you did to yourself, unfortunately it happened this way," Liddell said.

The family says several younger guys looked up to him, including his 19-year-old brother. They hope Drake's death will help him choose a better path. 

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