In my business, I see a lot of surveillance tape. Bank robberies, gas station heists, fast food break-ins…if I’m not recording off some backroom monitor, I’m slowing down footage as police look on. But of all the smeary black-and-white images I’ve processed, nothing illustrates the casual brutality of man like a recent piece of tape out of High Point. If you live around here, you’ve seen it - a scratchy patch of surveillance footage featuring a callous act of savagery involving a fire extinguisher and a complete disregard for human life. If you haven’t seen it, you can do so HERE - but be forewarned - the violence captured within is more than a little disturbing.
Naturally, we newshounds wanted to speak with the victim, Marian McKinney. But he declined, saying he didn’t want to interfere with the investigation. Today, after learning police had arrested the husband and wife thought responsible, McKinney stepped in front of our cameras - nose broken, eye blackened, cheek swollen. Despite his injuries, McKinney listened quietly to our obvious questions. In a low voice, he spoke about the attack he never saw coming.
“I don’t have any memory of it, other than what happened in the aftermath. I remember the blood and you know, getting up and calling the police...”
McKinney said he’s seen the tape, but has no desire to watch it again. When we told him Ledeal Cockrane and his wife Shekia were each being held under 100 thousand dollar bonds, the gentle giant nodded knowingly.
“I hope they are put away for a long time...that was just a completely vicious attack on their part...”
Not one to elaborate too deeply on his feelings, McKinney kept reiterating how great 95 percent of his customers are. He plans to return to work at the convenience store, partly to show others how you cannot run from criminals, but mostly because it’s a paycheck he can’t do without. I found myself liking Mr. McKinney - his thoughtful manner and quiet stride belies his intimidating appearance. For one who was so brutally attacked, he’s not letting his justified anger get the better of him. For that, he has my utmost respect.
As for the Cockrane couple, here’s hoping the surveillance footage will do its job and help send them to the very bowels of Central Prison. If not, then our much maligned justice system is indeed broken beyond repair.