Local News

Victim of Raleigh home invasion optimistic after attack

Posted January 23, 2013

— A Raleigh man left paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot in the spine during a violent home invasion earlier this month is facing the challenge of recovery head-on, his co-worker said Wednesday.

"He is incredibly positive and joking. He is his same funny, sarcastic self that we all love," said Rhonda Downum, a human resources manager for Cornerstone Therapeutics.

Her co-worker, whom WRAL News is identifying only as Jason, and his wife were attacked in the middle of the night on Jan. 7 after, police say, two men broke into their home in Raleigh's historic Oakwood district.

"It's exceptionally difficult," Downum said. "We do feel like we're family members, and when something like this happened, none of us were prepared and didn't realize how to deal with this. Everyone just wanted to help immediately."

Co-workers have set up a Facebook page to get donations to help Jason, a product development manager, and his wife to help make their home and vehicles handicapped-accessible.

"It's been very difficult knowing the journey they have ahead of them," Downum said. "We want to make sure that they know we're here for them."

They're also collecting cards and notes to encourage him as he recuperates.

Jason recently took to Facebook, thanking his supporters for their help.

"Despite a bum pinkie (hurt in the incident), I'll soon be moving to a manual chair. That should make zooming around the hospital much more fun (and provide some additional exercise)," he wrote on Monday. "It's the small victories that are so meaningful – and your support that continues to move us upward."

"He does not know the word failure. He is so strong, and he truly is our hero," Downum said.

Jason's neighbors feel the same way and are hopeful for when he returns home.

"We were all shocked, and we are praying for (his and his wife's) wellbeing," Sue Tillery said. "We want them to come back and just be comfortable here, because I think this was just a random act. I really do."

Raleigh police, however, haven't said whether the attack was random, but there's no evidence that the victims knew their attackers.

Jahaad Tariem Allah Marshall, 26, and his brother, Shabar Master Marshall, 16, face numerous charges in the case, including attempted murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, attempted murder and first-degree forcible sex offense.


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  • The Hammer Feb 1, 2013

    Gee, it couldn't have been that bad, the guy looks delighted and he's "optimistic". Or, in the alternative it could be incredibly biased reporting by liberals with a race-based bias that distorts their objectivity.

  • shortcake53 Jan 25, 2013

    I wish I had his strength. Many blessings to him and his wife as they look to the future.

  • carrboroyouth Jan 24, 2013

    Brave couple...

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 24, 2013

    I would support state sponsored torture for cases like this.

  • Barfly Jan 24, 2013

    It's wonderful that Jason has such a positive attitude about this horrific crime.

    Late at night, I wonder if he gets angry? Being shot and crippled by the same 2 animals that raped his wife.

    It makes my blood boil.

  • Rebelyell55 Jan 24, 2013

    Sadly they'll both be out of prison in the future.

  • aetius476 Jan 24, 2013

    "They both should be executed regardless of the color of their skin." - Barfly

    Executed? We will be lucky if they get 10 years in prison! If they were put on death row, the RJA would make sure the sentence was overturned.

    Some ill prepared and unlucky family will be visited again by these two fine citizens of the Tar Heel state...

  • Barfly Jan 24, 2013

    "You people are sick. There are already enough young black men in prison. Thank goodness we have the Justice Project. Whether or not they committed the crime is not the point. The point is the racial bias within our hearts that calls for us to persecute ... I mean, prosecute these two young children even though they are black youths." JohnDrescher

    They both should be executed regardless of the color of their skin.

  • simplemind2 Jan 24, 2013

    Once the home invasion perpetrators are found guilty, then they should receive the death penalty and no less.

  • csui Jan 24, 2013

    Everyone has a choice regardless of your ethnicity or environment. The men did the crime now they must deal with the punishment.It shouldn't matter whether the victim or criminal is puple, blue or orange etc...
    Life is a journey for us all and we should do the best we can and keep it moving.