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‘It’s terrifying’: Neighbors express concern over gun crime

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 8:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Three people in 13 hours were hurt or killed by gun violence. The ripple effect goes much deeper.

“It’s terrifying. My fiancé left the house right around the same time the shooting happened. It could’ve hit his car, it could’ve been him. It could’ve easily been him this morning and that’s why I’m furious,” said Emily Perry, a neighbor on Audubon Circle in Aiken County, where a woman was fatally shot Thursday morning.

The three local shootings happened in two counties, at different times, but there is a common thread: the shooters are on the loose.

We spoke to neighbors who say just because they weren’t the target, that doesn’t make them feel any better. And there are a lot of neighborhoods involved.

The first shooting was Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Fox Den Apartments off Wrightsboro Road in Augusta, where a woman was injured.

A few hours later at 11:30 p.m. that night, Aiken County deputies were called to Aiken Regional Medical Center, where a shooting victim was being treated. That’s when they learned about a shooting in Graniteville on Aiken Road. Joccoui Jackson, 26, died there.

Then at 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Aiken County deputies were called back out for a woman shot in the head in a drive-by shooting, this time on Audubon Circle outside North Augusta. That woman, Rebekah M. Clark, 28, was later pronounced dead at Augusta University Medical Center. She’ll be autopsied in Newberry.

People say this feels all too common.

“It’s all hours of the night,” said Perry. “It’s terrifying.”

That’s the reality for Perry, a soon-to-be mother of two living just around the corner from the shooting on Audubon Circle.

“It’s sick. It’s not good. You don’t really sleep well especially after something like that,” said Perry.

She says the neighborhood is known for drug activity. The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office says deputies have been to the house 64 times since 2013 for different calls.

“We can only call the cops so much. What are you supposed to do,” said Perry.

After the shooting across the Savannah River in Augusta, a 39-year-old mother of three is fighting for her life after being shot five times.

“It definitely needs to be talked about,” said Augusta Commissioner Catherine McKnight, who represents District 3.

“I wish that somebody would come out and speak and address to the public and citizens of Augusta,” said McKnight.

She says the city needs more deputies and security at these places. She plans on bringing this up for discussion at future meetings.

“Possibly the following committee meeting it should definitely be on there. I would be glad to put it on there,” she said.

Police say they need to hear from you, the community, to solve these crimes. Time and time again, police tell us video or the smallest piece of information can be vital to finding who these people are.

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