Deputies trying to keep teens safe after drive-by shooting

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Monday, July 7, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The man accused of opening fire in a crowded shopping center faces a judge for the first time today.

The judge did not grant 17-year-old Brandon Hilton bond and the teen did not have a lawyer with him. He's facing a list of charges including possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, and criminal damage to property.

The scene of a drive by shooting still leaves parents in the area in shock.

"That's actually really sad that that's happening around here," said Blake Deins.

Friends of the victim say 14-year-old Tyrese Hammond was shot Saturday night. The bullet hit the teen in the chest and those close to him say he's doing well. Deputies say 17-year-old Brandon Hilton fired the gun into a crowd of people. Hilton is facing several charges including possession of a firearm and aggravated assault, and today was the first time the teen appeared in court.

"They should beef up the security out here a little bit," said Deins.

Thoughts many people and businesses in the area share, but the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says people should feel safe.

"You're going to see Richmond County inside these locations. You're going to see law enforcement outside. You're going to see officers inside marked patrol cars," said Sgt. Shane McDaniel.

"Back then the thing was the skating rink and bowling alley up on Washington Road and it wasn't uncommon for us to go up there and we would monitor and its almost like a babysitting type situation," said Sgt. McDaniel.

Now, deputies will continue to monitor the movie theater and businesses across the street keeping an eye out while teens wait for their ride. Officials say juvenile crime goes up in the summer months.

"If you're waiting on your ride try to wait for your ride inside. Do not get yourself wrapped into a situation where you're in the middle or the center of a heated argument," said McDaniel.

As for Blake Deins a father of two small kids. He'll think twice before letting them out late at night.

"I definitely wouldn't have my 14-year-old out here hanging out that late at night by themselves," said Deins.

As for the victim 14-year-old Tyrese Hammond, Richmond County Sheriff's Office says he's still in the hospital and is stable. His injuries are not life threatening.


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