What do cases of downtown violence have in common?
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In just a week, we’ve seen four deadly shootings in Augusta – two of them downtown.
The latest took the life of 31-year-old Percy Johnson, who died at a hospital just before 2:45 Sunday.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says it happened at Broad and Seventh streets.
Almost exactly a week earlier and only three blocks away, 21-year-old Logan Etterle was fatally shot at 10th and Broad streets just before 3 in the morning.
What’s the common pattern here?
Most of the violent downtown incidents we’ve reported on this year happened after midnight – from late night hours to early morning.
Incidents like what happened around 2 a.m. Sunday at Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique, just up the block from the latest shooting.
Sjhop owner Brandy Gibson says deputies were chasing someone trying to arrest them. When they went to grab him, both went through the window.
Besides the shattered window and the two latest slayings, here’s a look at other after-midnight problems in downtown Augusta:
- Around 3 a.m. April 23, shots were fired after an altercation with some bouncers.
- April 12 a little after midnight, a woman was shot after witnesses say they heard two men talking about money.
- About 2:50 am April 10 two people were shot and injured.
Gibson says her business has been there for a year and has never had an incident before.
But her mom always told her nothing good happens after midnight.
“It kind of proves that point and so I try to stay home,” she said.
Yet Gibson says despite these incidents, she feels incredibly safe downtown.
“We have a presence of guards, we have the people who come down in the golf cart and I’m not here super-late at night but … I think that it is important for the community to come together to try and relieve some of this but as a business owner it does not deter me,” she said.
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- Groups working together to cut Augusta’s violent crime
She said she knows the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is working to make downtown as safe as possible.
And deputies told us last week there is a common denominator for the majority of these incidents.
“Yes, we do know that people will stay later than 2 o’clock,” Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said.
What starts between two individuals in a drinking establishment can escalate and continue outside.
“Unfortunately when it comes to drinking establishments … if it’s predictable, it’s usually preventable,” Clayton said.
Deputies want to emphasize knowing what’s going on around you.
If you see a situation starting to escalate, call deputies and get away from the area – do not run toward it.
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