‘We’ve got to do better’: What city leaders say about rash of killings

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 7:58 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office isn’t alone in pledging to do something about crime in Augusta.

In his final State of the City address, Mayor Hardie Davis said he wants to take guns out of the hands of bad actors and vowed a plan was coming.

That was months ago.

Since then, there have been more killings, including two this week in Augusta and another two people injured by gunfire, making three total shootings since Friday.


We spoke with members of the Augusta Commission about what they can do to help slow down violent crime.

“We just had this conversation a few months ago,” said Jordan Johnson, commissioner for District 1.

It’s been almost two months since Augusta had three fatal shootings over the course of four days, and for city leaders, it feels like deja vu.

“It’s not time for speeches and flowery words, but it’s time for coordinated and collaborative action,” said Davis.

Davis gave this address at commission following the deadly string of shootings, but we have yet to hear from him since.

Johnson says he has been talking with Davis about the root of the issue.

“What we’re dealing with is not so much a criminal justice issue as it is an economic and a poverty issue. Young folks do dumb things when they feel like their back is against the wall and they don’t have any other resources,” he said.

District 4 Commissioner Alvin Mason says the root of the problem starts in the home.

“It begins at home. It’s a village concept, and we’ve got to do better. We can’t rely on just the school system to pour into our kids,” he said.

While Commissioners Francine Scott, Bobby Williams and Mason have not yet spoken with the mayor on this issue, Mason says it’s about time to start looking towards the new mayor for guidance.

Williams said: “That’s something we’re going to have to talk over with the sheriff, and the mayor, and we’ll get together and talk about those things.”

We’ve has reached out to Davis’ office several times, and we have yet to hear back from him.

A surge in slayings

Although Augusta has been especially hard-hit by a surge in violent crime since mid-April, the city has not been alone.

There have been more than 30 homicides and suspicious deaths across the CSRA since April 14.

Here’s a look at those cases: