A South Carolina man with a history of mental illness stabbed his two young nephews to death Monday afternoon after getting into a minor argument with his sister over a microwave, according to police and 911 calls.
Raashid Jaamal White, 26, of North Charleston, is charged with two counts of murder and one count of possessing a knife while committing a violent crime, according to jail records. White is being held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.
White is accused of killing Avery Martin, 8, and his 2-year-old brother, Aiyden Martin. The boys’ slayings causes shock and heartbreak not only in their family, but also among first responders and the community.
“It’s always hard when there’s a child involved,” chaplain Rich Robinson told WSCS in Charleston. “I think whether you’re a parent or not, it grabs us all in a very particular way.”
People also expressed their feelings about the killings on social media.
Court documents obtained by the Post and Courier in Charleston paint a harrowing picture of the final moments of the boys’ lives. They also offer details into a 2015 incident in which White was accused of bludgeoning his own father with a baseball bat while he slept.
He was charged with attempted murder in that case, which was eventually dropped at the behest of his father.
The records, along with a 911 call made public by investigators, indicate that North Charleston police officers went to White’s home just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after his sister, and the children’s mother, called to report that he had barricaded himself in the house with her sons.
“There’s an individual in the house who has mental issues and physically attacked me, and now he’s locked me outside of the house. My children are screaming,” the mother, identified in the children’s obituary as Tiara Martin, told a 911 dispatcher, according to WCSC.
Martin told the dispatcher that she was not sure what triggered her brother’s attack.
“A minor disagreement over the microwave,” Martin said. “He just physically attacked me.”
About six minutes into the call, Martin can be heard talking to her older son through the door, WCSC reported.
“Avery? Everything’s OK. Open the door, OK?” Martin said in the recording.
She then let the dispatcher know that she got no response.
“(The children are) silent. I don’t hear anything,” Martin told the dispatcher. “I’m getting ready to panic, sir.”
The Post and Courier reported that a responding officer used bolt cutters to get inside the apartment and found the children suffering from stab wounds. Avery died at the scene and Aiyden was pronounced dead at Medical University Hospital.
White leapt from a second-floor balcony as police officers gained entry into the apartment, the newspaper reported. He was at large until a Charleston County sheriff’s deputy spotted him on a street near the apartment complex.
Arresting officers used a Taser on White after he broke free several times and reached for his waistband, the newspaper said. The Taser had no effect, but the officers were eventually able to restrain him with handcuffs.
White’s mugshot shows a large bandage on his forehead over one eye.
The court documents obtained by the Post and Courier indicate that White also fled the scene after his alleged December 2015 attack on his father, Gary White.
Police reports from that incident, which took place about 30 miles north of Charleston in Moncks Corner, said that White attacked his father with a baseball bat while he slept. A family member in the house heard the attack and intervened.
White’s parents, Gary and Nichelle White, told police that he had a history of mental illness, the Post and Courier reported.
The attempted murder charge against Raashid White was dropped the following year after Gary White begged prosecutors to drop the case. The father also claimed he “no longer remembered the incident,” and refused to sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) waiver that would allow prosecutors to access his medical records.
“Mr. White’s family paid his bond and stated that he had no history of violence with anyone, and that they were not afraid of him,” prosecutor Daniel Poulos said in a statement, according to the Post and Courier.