Two suspects in custody in drive-by shooting death

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

An Augusta teenager is dead, and his friends want to know why.

Investigators have released the name of the teenager killed in a drive-by shooting Thursday afternoon.

He's 17-year-old BonJoshwa Albright of Welch Lane.

Two suspects are in custody and have been charged.

The shooting happened on Watkins Street just before two o'clock Thursday, July 27.

"I don't know how, but someone got shot on Watkins Street," said Randy Shouse, employee at The Corner Store. "As soon as I did come I heard pop, pop, pop."

Within minutes, Richmond County's SWAT team had a Hicks Street home surrounded.

After receiving information that three individuals with at least one weapon had entered a home on Hicks Street, the SWAT team surrounded it.

They made numerous attempts to contact the suspects, and finally stormed in.

"There was no one present in the house," said Capt. Jack Francisco of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department. "However, there was some drug evidence there and also some weapons that were recovered in the scene."

Witnesses say the shooting may have something to do with an argument outside The Corner Store.

That altercation was caught on tape on one of the nine surveillance cameras at the Store. It shows a group of teenagers arguing outside the front door.

Officials say the two incidents could be related.

Neighbors worry the violence has gotten out of hand.

"Take your drugs, take your guns, take your problems and go somewhere else," said Kim Theriault, a friend of the victim. "One person shoots at another, these people decide they're going to retaliate at the same time."

A decision that cost one mother her son, and the SWAT team a day of sweat.

An autopsy is scheduled for July 28 in Atlanta.

Investigators have taken three suspects into custody in the shooting.

21-year-old Thomas Brown is charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

20-year-old Mark Graham is charged with murder and having a gun during a crime in connection with the shooting.

Originally another man was arrested in the shooting, but upon questioning investigators released him.

Investigators have also arrested Robert Wilcher in connection with the standoff following the shooting. He is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property in the first degree, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The shooting Thursday is only one of a number of violent crimes in the month of July.

On July 3, a young woman was caught in the crossfire during a shootout at the Circle K on Tobacco Road.

Earlier this week, there was a drive by shooting in Pepperidge. A 21-year-old male was killed after talking with someone in a car in the 2200 block of Ramblewood Drive.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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