LANCASTER – Charles Emmanuel Briggs was a loving son and brother who protected the women in his family.
“He had three sisters, so he was very loving and attentive to us at home,” said mom Charlotte Briggs.
“I raised him to take care of his sisters, and any injustice that he saw, he would speak up… he stood for the right,” said dad Charlie Briggs.
To those outside the home, Charles was a compassionate Samaritan always willing to lend a helping hand.
“Most people that knew Charles can probably recall an incident, or several, where he was helping them,” said Pastor Michael Mancha of Eagle Vision Community Church in Palmdale. “He was quick to volunteer, was a great worker, a great helper and just had a great spirit about himself.”
That great spirit was cut short in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 23, after Charles extended a helping hand for the last time.
The 27-year-old was trying to quell a domestic dispute when he was shot and killed with a bow and arrow, according to Sheriff’s homicide detectives.
Garrett Adams has been charged with murder, and the complaint includes an allegation that Garrett used a compound bow to kill Charles.
Sheriff’s detectives said Garrett and his girlfriend were arguing at a Lancaster home when Charles arrived with Garrett’s brother and tried to intervene. The dispute continued outside onto the sidewalk, and then Garrett armed himself with a hunting bow and arrow and shot Charles in the upper torso, according to detectives. (Read more here)
Nearly 24 hours passed before Charlotte Briggs was told by the County coroner that her only son had been killed.
“Just being at home and hearing about it the way that I did… not being able to be at the hospital with him, just to be there as a mother,” she said. “We’ve had a real hard time with this because it was such a tragedy.”
Charlotte Briggs would not discuss what homicide detectives shared with the Briggs family for fear that it could jeopardize the case. She did say that Garrett and his brother were not close friends with Charles, as some media reports have claimed. The Adams brothers were not part of the tight-knit circle of friends that Charles had maintained since childhood, his mother said.
“Friends wouldn’t let something like that happen and not make a phone call,” Charlotte Briggs said. “Contrary to everything that’s been said, my son had a circle of friends that is totally different to what has been represented… true friends, brothers.”
One of those true friends is Devion, son of Lancaster City Council Member Sandra Johnson. Johnson, who saw herself as an “extended mother” to Charles, is helping to console the grieving family.
“Charles in our community was not known as a troublemaker, he was not known as a fighter, he was not known as a gang member…”Johnson said. “He was known as a great friend, a great son, a great brother, a great citizen to our community.”
Charles had a passion for automobiles and mechanics, he liked to barbecue, and he was very health conscious. Charles was dubbed “Chuckles” by some of his friends because of his ready smile and infectious laugher. He was excited about a new job in Littlerock, which he was scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 25.
“Many of us are devastated… by how such a senseless tragedy could happen the way that it did and under the circumstances that it happened,” Pastor Mancha said.
Charles’ family and loved ones are determined to build something hopeful from this tragedy. They will be keeping his memory alive with the “Chuckles Foundation.”
“The Chuckles Foundation will focus on the vocational development of domestic violence families and young boys without fathers or big brothers within the home,” stated sister Charlynnae Briggs. “The activities will range from but are not limited to car repair, sports [and] cooking.”
The family is also praying for justice for Charles Briggs.
“We in the Antelope Valley will make sure that he is respected for what he was, which is a great man,” Johnson said. “We as a community will honor him as such.”
Garrett Adams has remained in custody on $1 million bail since his arrest on Aug. 23. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge on Tuesday, Sept. 9. If convicted as charged, Garrett faces 26 years to life in state prison.
UPDATED 9/9/14: The arraignment for Garrett Adams was postponed until Oct. 14, 2014. We will continue to follow this story.
UPDATED 10/21/14: The arraignment scheduled for Oct. 14 was postponed until Nov. 18, 2014. We will continue to follow this story.
A message for Charles Briggs
A small group of family and loved ones gathered at Eagle Vision Community Church in Palmdale this past weekend to share fond memories of Charles Briggs. The group ended the gathering with individual messages to Charles. View the video below:
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