News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Jan. 21, 2013
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- Investigators say almost a dozen gang members are in jail in Waynesboro after two rival gangs have been wreaking havoc in the city.
It all started when a mother and her 4-year-old woke up to find more than a dozen alleged gang members outside their house. Also inside that house was a cousin who says the gang problem is now out of control.
Ronney Walker was at home with his cousin and her 4-year-old daughter last week when he heard a knock at the door.
"We ignored it, you know, because it was late, but it just constantly kept knocking like that," he recalled.
So Walker opened the door.
"A young guy came in asking where was such and such and we was like they dint stay here, so he just barged on into the house," he explained.
He saw 15 to 20 others on the street.
"They were hollering 'Orchard Gang,'" Walker said.
Investigators say it all began with a fight at 6th Street park between the city's two gangs, the Orchard Gang Boys and the Jersey Boys.
"They have no respect to life, no respect to living, no respect to property," said Lt. Joseph Nelson with the Waynesboro City Police Department.
When shots were fired into the air outside Walker's house, he and his cousin called the police.
"The nonsense that's going on is pitiful," he said. "There was a child in the house that could've got hurt when they was shooting in the air. That's just nonsense that needs to stop."
That's what police are working to do. The events of that night sparked an investigation that has since led to nine arrests and warrants for more than half a dozen alleged gang members.
"We just simply don't wanna see anymore bloodshed in our town because we feel like the gang violence is senseless, is uncalled for and there are a lot of other things these kids can do other than shooting up, destroying property and killing one another and we're just not gonna tolerate it," said Lt. Nelson.
"Gangs, they don't care about no one," Walker said. "They don't care, so they'll hurt anybody to get to what they want or just to prove a point or to prove that they're tough."
The investigation is still ongoing. Investigators say they are hoping to have at least 15 to 20 suspects in custody by Friday. They say they will continue this investigation until all the members of the street gangs are brought to justice. The investigators will also be receiving gang training in February so all of them know the ins and outs of what to look for and how to identify gangs in the community.