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‘It’s senseless’: City leaders, residents react to recent crime surge

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Pieces of caution tape are still up at an Augusta store after the sixth shooting in the last week.

Deputies say a man was shot in the leg Wednesday night after a shooting at Paul’s Supermarket on the corner of Greene and East Boundary streets. Two blocks from where shots rang out over at the Chevron gas station.

The Richmond County sheriff announced more patrols and road checks in our high-crime areas, but he says to keep crime down takes an entire community.

We talked to neighbors and city leaders who say they’re ready for a change, too.

A witness to Wednesday’s shooting says she couldn’t believe what was happening and says enough is enough.

“It shook me up,” said Garian Henry, shooting witness.

It has one neighborhood on edge.

“It’s senseless,” she said.at

Henry was buying groceries when she heard someone shouting in front of Paul’s Supermarket.

“At first, it didn’t dawn on me what was happening, then I realized, ‘oh my gosh.’ There were individuals in the store that did not care about,” she said.

Neighbors near the store say they’re traumatized.

Christine Williams lives in the East Boundary area.

“My neighbor’s kids were outside, and they came in screaming, yelling, terrified,” said Williams.

Henry said: “I want people to be able to be safe to feel secure. I want people to be able to walk to their community stores and not fear of being gunned down because someone is trying to retaliate.”

District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson says it breaks his heart to see senseless crimes happen in his district. He hopes this will spark conversations for change.

“It is showing the need for programs to make sure folks have access to the resources they need to not fall into a life of crime,” he said.

Johnson says he spoke with the district attorney and reached out to the sheriff’s office to identify ways to combat ongoing gun violence.

“Getting people to work is going to be so important. Getting people into job programs, getting people off the streets, getting people into mentor programs is going to be helpful,” he said.

Many are hoping people show more love and come together for the better.

Johnson says he is working with other city leaders to create programs to combat the recent violence.

Williams said: “Rather its food giveaways or open concerts outside, anything that promotes peace in the neighborhood. The key is to call on the NAACP, calling on church leaders, calling on other mentor groups to come out and help these young folks.”

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