ATLANTA -- It was a story that rocked Atlanta's Kirkwood community because of its senselessness. Ken Hagen was in his front yard on Ridgedale Road, trimming his lawn with a weed whacker, when he was approached and shot three times.
Hagen has been fighting for his life at Grady Memorial Hospital ever since. Friday there was good news for his Kirkwood neighbors and good news for his wife Linda. Atlanta police made an arrest.
Linda Hagen has been spending most of her days at the hospital at her husband's bedside. She says she only comes home to Kirkwood to shower and change clothes. The best news she's had in the three weeks since her husband was shot is that he is improving. "He is still in the intensive care unit, I believe upgraded to stable condition now," she said. "But it's still a struggle and still a lot of things he has to come through."
On August 21st Ken Hagen was shot three times by someone who was trying to rob him. "My husband is a wonderful man and he should not be fighting for his life every day," his wife said. Neighbors questioned "How much money could a man have, while working in his yard?"
The next best news for Linda Hagen came Friday from Atlanta police. They arrested 18-year old Terrance Hambrick. Hambrick is charged with Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault and Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery. He is also charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property in connection with a stolen car he was seen leaving the scene in.
Hambrick has been in the DeKalb County jail since September 2nd when he was arrested on a probation violation.
When shown a picture of Hambrick, Linda Hagen asked "How old is he?" When informed that Hambrick is 18 years old she commented "So he can be tried as an adult." She said the arrest is a relief. "I want the other three caught as well, I want all of them to pay for this," she said. Police say witnesses saw the suspect who shot her husband get into a car with three other people inside, including a female driver.
It was a story that shook the crime conscious neighborhood in Kirkwood which formed its own security patrols. Some residents blamed police brass and city budget cuts for a perceived increase in crime in their neighborhood.
Linda Hagen was pleased to learn that it was a tip to Crime Stoppers that led to the arrest. "Because that means the community and just society is saying we're not going to do this, we're not going to stand for it and somebody out there knew some information and did the right thing and I'm thankful for that," she said.