News 12 at 11 o'clock/Sunday, November 20, 2011
AUGUSTA, GA-- It's the 22nd murder in Richmond County this year.
36-year-old Lawrence Russell Moore was shot and killed in Augusta early Sunday morning.
It happened on the 1400 block of Essie McIntyre Blvd. around 4 a.m. That's when deputies responded to a call of shots being fired.
Some people living in the neighborhood say the sound of gun shots is no stranger. News12 talked with neighbors who say the area is prone to crime, and some feel it's getting worse.
The victim's family, and other voices in the community are speaking out for something to be done.
"You took away my child, you took away a father from his three daughters," cried Moore's mother, Judy Moore.
Lawrence Russell Moore, and his mourning family are the latest victims to a deadly crime in this neighborhood.
"When the investigators told me how and where he was found, the only thing I could think of was they shot my child and they left him lying in a field to die," she said.
Russell's body was found in an empty lot with at least one gun shot wound to the torso.
And people in the community were worried that something like this would happen.
"I told the sheriff's office the drug sales had gone up, and late nights there are shootings going on," said John Lockhart, the pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church.
Just Friday night, Pastor Lockhart called to get extra surveillance for his church, which is just around the corner from where the shooting happened.
Pastor Lockhart fears this murder won't be the last this year if things don't change.
"Drugs being sold on the corners, loitering on the corners, cars coming by and picking up drugs, you see prostitutes walking up and down the street day and night," explained Lockhart.
The Fellowship Baptist Church is proof of the crime in this area, from offering trays being stolen to bullet holes in the front door.
"We have started improving the Laney Walker community, we started improving downtown, and the underwood area, and all the crime that was down there is moving out into this area," Lockhart explained.
As for Russell, he's been in trouble with the law before, but his mother says that doesn't mean he deserved to die.
"Everyone has their faults, but were his so bad they had to kill him," said Judy Moore.
Both the pastor and Russell's mother just hope that the community will stand up to make things right.
At this time, no suspects have been named, but the investigation is in its early stages. If you do have any information, they're urging you to call them.