Family, community dealing with loss following deadly attempted armed robbery

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A man investigators say was shot several times in an attempted robbery on Matipan Avenue in Charleston is now out of the ICU, but his family is mourning the loss of his son.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office arrested Aaron White and Da'quintez Gadsden Friday for the murder of Michael "Bryan" Cooke.

The family says the attempted robbery and shooting was random, and the father-son pair happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The two were helping out with a plumbing project.

Michael Byran, known as Bryan, wasn't the only one shot.

His father Michael Cooke is out of the ICU after being shot multiple times, including in the face.

The two were leaders at Life Community Church in Mt. Pleasant, and the family is holding strong to that faith.

"It leaves such a hole in our lives and you know the lives in this community," Will Smith said.

Will and Jennifer Cooke were cousins to Bryan, and Michael is Jennifer's uncle.

"I mean the fact that Mike is alive is incredible for the injuries he suffered," said Will Smith.

Michael is the founder pastor at Life Community Church.

Bryan was the worship leader.

"He could close his eyes and get lost in worship, and it was intimate for him, but it was beautiful to watch," said Jennifer Smith.

Smith said when Michael woke up in the hospital and learned what happened to his son, he had a certain request.

"He asked for his bible," said Jennifer. "He asked for some books that he has on heaven, he ask for something he can take notes on."

Faith is something this family holds close, even for 5-year-old Sophia who will no longer have her dad.

"Her mother did a very good job trying to explain what happen, and the first thing that she said to me was that 'My daddy is in heaven,'" said Will Smith.

Jennifer said Bryan's spirit will be remembered.

"He was such a calming influence. Big hugs, Big heart. You never felt like you couldn't sit down and never talk to Bryan again," said Jennifer Smith.

Smith said he had a passion for music,

"Bryan, he was probably closer in touch with his soul than anybody else I know," said Jennifer Smith.

The family is now forced to grip with the reality that he will not be back.

"Bryan was helping him, he didn't help everyday but he helped him that day, and it's tragedy," said Will Smith.

A tragedy they never expected.

"You never think it's going to happen to your family," said Jennifer Smith.

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