News 12 First at Five/Thursday April 10, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--Preston's Burbine has lived in Richmond County his entire life and says he's surprised this year's Masters week isn't as busy as others in the past.
"It has been slow. Last Masters week Broad Street was crowded with people," said Burbine.
But, he says some of the violent crimes happening this week are surprising him.
"I don't like to be watching T.V. and all of a sudden somebody's killed or somebody's hurt or something like that," he said.
Twice this week shots rang out leaving two people dead.
It started Saturday night with a shooting that killed 35-year-old Michael Hanson.
Just two days later, an argument on Broad street sparked a shooting that killed 28-year-old Antonio Counts.
"Two murders this week...A lot of people are worried that it's going to happen to them," said Burbine. "Law enforcement...I think they should bring more down here."
"There are extra out there," said Sgt. Shane McDaniel of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
McDaniel confirms, despite the two murders, this year's Masters week has been slower than the Richmond County Sheriff's Office prepped for.
"Even though we've had two unfortunate incidents this week, our crime rate is still falling," he said.
Richmond County crime statistics show 84 fewer total cases between 2012 and 2013 and a drop in 119 cases between the first few months of last year and the first few months of this year.
"The numbers don't lie," said McDaniel. "Each year we learn something different and we start planning for Masters next year."
As the weekend approaches, Burbine says he's hoping to see more deputies downtown.
"Nobody's perfect and no place is perfect, but, down here, you barely see anybody down here," he said, referring to the downtown area.
McDaniel tells 12 investigators have found the shootings to be isolated and to have nothing to do with the increased amount of people in Augusta this week.