After-hours clubs hotspots for crime

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, July 9, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Investigators continue to follow leads in the shooting death of an 18-year-old at a south Augusta club.

Stedmund Fryer was killed early this morning in the middle of a crowded dance floor at Club Super C, on the 2700 block of Tobacco Road. This is the 16th murder in Augusta for 2007. The total for all of 2006 was 20.

Fryer's shooting was the first murder at Club Super C, but not the first time it and other after-hours clubs have seen trouble. Problems crop up almost daily during the weekends. In February, a bouncer was shot at Club Dream. And last week at Club Platinum, another man was shot and killed.

The sheriff's department has responded to dozens of calls from Club Super C in the past year.

"We have responded to that area in reference to shootings, in reference to fights. It has been a hotspot of ours for the past several years," said Sgt. Richard Roundtree.

Deputies stay busy at Augusta clubs, breaking up fights, corralling loiterers out of parking lots, and just trying to keep the peace.

"We have responded to numerous calls of loitering in the parking lot, fights in the parking lot, and shots being fired," Sgt. Roundtree said.

Richmond County deputies often serve as extra security at night clubs, but in some cases even that's not enough. When the club's filled with over a hundred people, it's hard to see what's going on.

Authorities say when there's a shooting at a night club, the intended target is usually hit.

"We've had instances where we've had shootings inside clubs before," Sgt. Roundtree said. "In this particular case, it leads us to believe that the victim of course was in fact the intended target."

Just having a couple of deputies on club premises can help deter crime. While it won't get rid of the problem altogether, it does mean that if something does happen, deputies are already on the scene.

Investigators are now seeking Jordash Tanksley's testimony in the shooting of Stedmund Fryer. While Tanksley is not yet a suspect, he is wanted for questioning. If you know where Tanksley is, call the sheriff's office at 706-821-1080.

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