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A call for change: ‘I don’t ever want to see another baby get shot’

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A child is recovering after being shot on East Boundary, and a community is shaken.

Richmond County deputies say two kids were involved in this latest incident – one shot in the leg and another detained for questioning.

After the shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, we spoke with neighbors about what they heard and with activists about what needs to change in the community.

“Kids playing with guns, it’s not a pretty sight,” witness Melinda Johnson said.

She doesn’t live far from the scene at the East Augusta Commons. She said it was difficult to witness.

“That little man got shot,” she said. “It was – it was hard.”

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It’s an experience she hopes to never have to see again.

“He was just boo-hoo crying, calling for his mom, thought he was gonna die,” she said. “That thing took something out of me.”

But she says the key to preventing violence is this: keeping guns away from children.

“People shouldn’t have guns in the house where kids can play with them,” she said. “That’s not a toy. He could’ve lost his life.”

The shooting isn’t the first one involving minors that we’ve reported.

But local activists want it to be the last.

“This has to stop. How much more must we take? The kids are out of school for the summer. They’re just newly out of school, and we don’t want any more of this for the rest of the summer,” said Traci George, leader of March for Our Lives CSRA.

George is organizing a march this weekend to show solidarity for victims and push for an end to gun violence, specifically against children.

“If we don’t instill our values in them to show how important their lives are in this world,” she said, “then what do they have to live for?”

Activists hope to use their voice to help make a difference, so people like Johnson won’t have to witness this again.

“I don’t ever want to see another baby get shot,” Johnson said.

Coming up

Local residents will come together this Saturday to remember those lost to gun violence and demand that gun violence prevention and safety are a priority.

The event will be hosted by March for Our Lives CSRA.

The gathering will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Walton Way Extension.

After a march, there will be a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Texas school shooting.

There will also be a special memorial for Arbrie Anthony, a local 8-year-old girl killed in a drive-by shooting.

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