Another shooting at Jennings Place leaves teen in hospital

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August 1, 2006

An Augusta teenager is recovering after the second shooting at Jennings Place in just a few days.

The shooting happened at the 1800 block of Cooney Drive, right off Olive Road.

Officers say it's possible 17-year-old John Turner caught someone else's bullet. Right now they're not sure where the shots came from.

This is the latest of many recent shootings in downtown Augusta. A psychologist tells us a new trend in communities is partly to blame for the increase in violence.

17-year-old John Turner tells investigators he was shot in the arm and chest at Jennings Place at 6 o'clock in the morning.

"We don't know if it was an accident, if it was random," says Sgt. Calvin Chew. "It might have been someone shooting at someone else...that, we don't know."

Sgt. Chew says Augusta has been seeing more violence than normal.

Dr. Joe Holt says that's because people are less involved in the community than they used to be.

"If the parents are not aware of who their child hangs with, then chances are this child could get in more trouble because he has no guidance...except from his friend, who wants to get in trouble."

Dr. Holt says parents don't always know where their kids are, and that can be dangerous.

The Jennings Place victim told investigators he was shot in between two buildings, on a path that connects the main road to a center courtyard. Turner's wound indicates the shots came from the ground level, up to 100 yards away.

"Any time there's any kind of shooting in any area, it's dangerous for the public and the residents who live in the area," Sgt. Chew says.

Especially since officers say neighbors aren't giving them much information.

"Sometimes the smallest detail is what helps solve a case," Sgt. Chew says. "They may not think this is important...but it turns out to be something we need to look at."

Finding those details and getting parents more involved in their kids' lives could calm the violence.

Turner's sister tells News 12 he is recovering at MCG and will probably stay overnight. Investigators say they plan to follow up with him once he gets out of the hospital.

Officers say one key to keeping crime down is to let their presence be known, and that means increasing patrols in these communities.

Officers are still investigating today's shooting. The suspect will face charges of aggravated assault.

The Cooney Circle shooting is very close to the location of another recent shooting.

On Friday, Aljawann Johnson was shot in the shoulder.

That shooting happened on the 1900 block of Estroff Court.

Investigators are still looking for Kenneth Leslie, who faces assault charges in this shooting.

Leslie is also wanted by police in Florida.

If you've seen him, call the police.