February 7, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---A high school student is recovering after getting shot in the foot on the way home from a friend's house. It happened near Fairhope Street in Underwood Homes.
A federal grant is helping the sheriff's office fight this kind of violence.
High school junior Mickey Chamberlin recently had surgery to remove the round lodged in his foot.
"The stinging just kept getting worse, and when I got here, I took off my shoe and looked...and I saw blood," he recalled.
It was a scary sight for his mother, who tells us that now she's worried about her son walking the streets near their home.
Mickey says he was walking home from a friend's house on nearby Mack Court when he heard gunshots. That's something he says he hears a lot...but this time, he was hit.
Records from the sheriff's department show it's a story happening far too often.
There have been more than 20 reports of aggravated assaults in public housing over the past year, almost double from 2004.
It's a number Col. Gary Powell says is so high, they got a $600,000 a year grant to fight violent crime in these areas.
"A lot of people, they see a patrol car in the area, and they're going to think twice before committing a crime," Col. Powell said.
13 deputies and two sergeants work seven days a week to patrol public housing. Col. Powell says that helps them keep gunfire away from young people like Mickey.
"It's surprising," Mickey said. "It never happened before. I never thought that would happen."
Col. Powell says the housing units are a big relief for the rest of the street patrol, and it allows them to focus on their areas of the city.