Richmond County Sheriff talks about Paine College shooting

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UPDATE: News 12 First at Five/ May 6, 2014


AUGUSTA, Ga.--Some are saying the lack of security at Paine College is a concern not just for students and parents, but for those living nearby.

It's something the entire community is talking about. Minnesota Fattz, a local radio host and community activist says, "There's a lack of security issue going on there, and parents are concerned, students are concerned, and we just need to fix it."

We stopped by the Fattz and Cher in the morning show where the conversation with Sheriff Roundtree focused on safety.

He told listeners, "We're trying to do a threat assessment to see if there's the threat of potential shooters out there. We have to air on the side of caution."

Now the investigation has expanded even further. Investigators are trying to tie another shooting that happened off campus Monday on Laurel Street to the violence at Paine College.

Willie Trice lives on Laurel Street and witnessed a drive by shooting there Monday.

"We observed a Trail Blazer coming from that end of the street at snail's pace. And she(my neighbor) was just showing me where she had gotten grazed Sunday night from a bullet, and as soon as she dropped her shirt, there was more bullets ringing out from everywhere, so we all just dropped to the ground," Trice said.

Trice says there was a 5 year old in the front yard when the bullets started flying.

"When I got up from the ground, I just knew I was going to see this baby laying out in the yard, and that was the most frightening part. When I found out the baby wasn't injured, I was more worried about the child then myself," he said.

Laurel Street is an older neighborhood, but one new thing about this area you'll notice is all the 'for sale' and 'for lease' signs popping up.

"I'm watching my neighbors everyday, new neighbors are putting their houses up for sale and moving out. Yesterday, this moving truck appeared. This lady, she's getting out of here," he explains.

He's just hoping investigators can put all of the pieces together and stop the violence before someone gets killed.

"There's a lot of unknowns right now to see how deep this situation goes and how many people are involved," the Sheriff explains.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said investigators aren't sure if the search for Paine College shooting suspects is over.

Roundtree says the suspect in custody is a student. Investigators don't know if there are multiple shooters nor if the man in jail, Xavier Cooper, is the main and only shooter, Roundtree said.

The sheriff also said they believe the two shootings, Sunday's and Monday's at Paine college, are connected. The investigation shows this incident stems back from an argument from two weeks ago, he said.

The Paine College victim is in critical condition as of noon on Tuesday, Roundtree said.

"This has the potential to be a national story," Roundtree said. "We don't want that, nobody wants to be that story and if you are that story, you want to see how you respond to it."

Paine College police and the Sheriff's Office do not have radio communication. Paine has to call 911 just like everyone else and they're working to change that.

"In a city our size, that's unfathomable," he said. "We are actually loaning Paine college 10 of our radios so they can have direct communication with us until this incident is resolved."

Check for updates to the story throughout the week by clicking here.

Here's a wrap up from Tuesday's interview with Roundtree:

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