News 12 at 6 o' clock/ April 14, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga.--The second week in April usually means it's Spring Break, the azaleas are blooming, and traffic is a nightmare for locals. But, this year for the local community, it meant two murders, a deadly hit and run, three shootings, and a stabbing.
Rhonda Usry lives near Alter Egoz along Gordon Highway. She says, "I was sitting on my porch, and I saw two police cars flying down the road."
Those deputies were responding to a shooting at Alter Egoz night club Saturday that ended with two Hephzibah men behind bars.
Outside the gates of Augusta National, it's been a chaotic week for deputies.
Sgt. Shane McDaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says, "We've had a very busy week. Nothing affiliated with the Masters though."
It all started the Saturday night before Masters with a shooting in the Bilo parking lot that killed a husband and father of three. Then, just 3 days later, a fight on Broad Street led to another deadly shooting that spilled onto the on ramp to Gordon Highway.
Sgt. McDaniel says, "We've had several things happen. A couple of murders, but we've also resolved those murders and made arrests."
In addition to the two murders, a wife allegedly stabbed her husband on Etterlee Rd. Wednesday, sending him to the hospital. The next night, a shooting on Japonica Avenue injured another Augusta man.
"It has absolutely nothing to do with Masters week," Sgt. McDaniel says, It has absolutely nothing to do with the tourists and visitors we've had. We've had somewhat of a spurt you might say."
A spurt brought on entirely by the locals, which is the reason Usry says she tries to keep to herself.
"I try to stay in my house more and on my porch so I can stay out of trouble."
The violent week continued with a deadly hit and run on Gordon Highway that killed a 14 year old and sent another juvenile to the hospital. The week finished up with shots fired on Essie McIntyre Boulevard and the Alter Egoz shooting early Sunday.
Despite the violent crime numbers, the Sheriff's Office says crime rates overall have actually been down Masters week.