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Downtown businesses talk safety after deadly shooting

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Ahead of Juneteenth, we were in downtown Augusta talking with businesses to find out how they are approaching safety just a week after a deadly shooting.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office tells us both suspects charged in 21-year-old Logan Etterlee’s murder are now in custody. De’Andre Tandy was arrested earlier this week in North Augusta.

Deputies say Tandy and Keyon Smiley were in a fight with Etterlee when Tandy shot and killed the 21-year-old.

According to incident reports, Smiley was shot in the ankle during the fight just before 3 a.m.

The sheriff’s office says Smiley is also in jail, charged with murder.

With so many people expected downtown this weekend, what are businesses saying about keeping people safe?

“My daughter actually told me she knew one of the kids that got shot this past weekend. One of my friends told me that it was her friend’s kid that got shot. So I know it’s having an impact on the community,” said Channing Rumbaugh, Draft Society Taproom.

The homicides of Etterlee and Jakwan Gunter have area businesses on their toes and putting safety at the forefront.

Trevor Speed, manager, Nacho Mama’s said: “We all know working downtown what to expect, there’s you’re going to have drunk people, you’re going to have big groups, large, you know, people coming in, so we’re just kind of ready for whatever our staff stays ready.”

The Bee’s Knees general manager says downtown crime has evolved in the area over three years since working at the coffeehouse.

John Porter said: “It’s getting a little bit more spread out. I think there’s more of a draw for people and that maybe that crime is getting a little bit more spread out not necessarily that it’s intensifying.”

It hasn’t stopped businesses from continuing extra precautions.

“Rumbaugh said: We have necklaces and little buttons that we wear on ourselves. And if you press and hold it, it’ll immediately call the cops if you press and hold for three seconds.”

Porter said: “There has to be at least two people who close, close the shop every day to make sure that two people are leaving together at all times just for safety.”

On a Facebook post, The Loft Augusta announced that moving forward they will wand all patrons coming into their doors.

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