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What’s behind the spike in shootings across CSRA?

Published: May. 24, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 7:30 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been a violent past few days, with several shootings since Friday, three of them deadly.

It follows a wave of violence earlier this month where two people died and eight people were shot and another stabbed.

The number of shootings seems to be high, but with 2020 being such a strange year, is crime just going back to how it was before the pandemic?

Crime isn’t just going back to how it was before the pandemic. It’s actually way higher.

In Richmond County we’ve seen almost as many shootings in five months this year as we did in all of 2019. We spoke to a Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy, and he believes its because the restrictions are easing.

“I think everybody’s been pent up for so long, now people have gotten out, people are becoming a little bit more excitable,” said Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Clayton has watched the number of shootings in Richmond County skyrocket. In 2019 and 2020 there were about 200 shootings each year. This year we’ve almost reached that number already in just five months.

“Good analogy is like on inflation. When you have pent up demand, all of a sudden it’s wide open again, you’re gonna have like inflation, same kind of principle,” he said.

Clayton expects this surge to continue throughout the summer.

“I think what you’re gonna see is especially probably through the summer months it will be kind of high and then you’ll see it start to level out,” he said.

He says one of the keys to bringing down the number of shootings is to find and recover stolen weapons.

“When they know people are carrying firearms, they need to let us know, the more firearms we can get off the street, the less chances you’re gonna have of people shooting each other,” he said.

We also requested shooting data from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office. They say they were unable to provide updated numbers.

How flare-up in violence has unfolded

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