Augusta shootings kill 2 people within hours, including a 17-year-old
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta saw two fatal shootings within 12 hours as the CSRA continues to battle a surge in violent crime that’s claimed more than 40 lives since spring.
The victim in the latest shooting was 17 years old.
Deputies were called at 11:22 a.m. Friday to the Smart Grocery at 3221 Wrightsboro Road, a frequent location of shooting investigations.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 1:15 p.m., according to authorities.
The victim was identified as Zayquantez Jones, 17, of the 1600 block of Goshen Road, according to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen. An autopsy will be conducted.
Earlier, investigators had two subjects in custody, according to deputies.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Darontaye Cummings, 17, of Augusta, with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of an article with altered identification.
After further investigation, deputies say the second subject had no involvement and was released.
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The shooting came on the heels of another one that authorities reported at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
The victim, identified as 56-year-old Kimberly Harris-Opoku, was found in the 1100 block of Anderson Avenue, near 12th Street, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy has been scheduled, Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen reported.
She lived at or near the scene where she was found, according to Bowen.
We don’t know a lot yet about the shootings, but we do know that the Smart Grocery is well-known to deputies. Located near some apartment complexes that have been trouble spots for crime, the store has been the site of several gun incidents in recent years. Among those incidents:
- In March 2020, a shooting there wounded a bystander after a verbal altercation in the parking lot. Marcia Laquette Wimbley, 28, of Augusta, was taken into custody
- In April 2021, a man was found in the parking lot of the store, injured after being shot at least twice.
- On Nov. 23, 2021, a man pointed a gun at a woman in the parking lot of the store as part of an apparent road-rage incident.
- In May 2017, a man suffered wounds to a hand and thigh in a shooting at the store. The injuries were not life-threatening.
- In November 2018, a victim was found in the parking lot of the store with at least two gunshot wounds in their mid-section.
- In December 2021, two motorists fired gunshots at each other near the store before driving off in separate directions. One person was arrested.
The fatal shootings Thursday and Friday are among dozens during a surge in violent crime across the CSRA since spring. There have been more than 40 homicides and suspicious deaths in the region since April 14.
As the CSRA’s largest community, Augusta has been hit especially hard.
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