How is community impacted by CSRA’s surge in violent crime?

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In just three days, four people were killed in local shootings.

We have a closer look at how this violence impacts the community directly.

Augustans are moving from exhaustion to anger when it comes to talking about gun violence.

While we were following up with a parent of a recent victim, a debate broke out at the Augusta commission, all centering around violence and solutions at the Landings Apartments.

“I’m still having nightmares. The shake-ups. These outbursts at night. When it comes to my stepson, we are still emotional. It’s still hard,” said Furrica Harden, a gun-violence victim.

Harden lost her 17-year-old stepson, Zaquantez Jones, to a shooting at the end of September and wants something to change.

“Anything besides picking up a gun. Doing after-school programs, keep the kids more active in school, have more programs going on, we don’t see that today,” said Harden.

His death came up at the city commission when Jason Beard, who was scheduled to talk on the city agenda, brought up Augusta’s recent string of violence by showing his support for the controversial Landings deer stand that recently went up as a security solution.

“The observation unit was not a nuisance to the citizens and taxpayers,” he said.

This sparked a back and forth with District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson, who says despite the good intentions of the stand, it has racial implications.

“Regardless if there’s a crime or not, it gives off the wrong impression,” said Johnson.

Constructive solutions, or any solutions at this point, are what Harden is looking for.

“It’s really like too much, and to know that there are kids involved in these killings and being killed, that’s an issue,” he said.

We asked the sheriff’s office about what they are doing to slow crime. They told us they’re aware gun violence is rising around the country.

As for what the sheriff’s office is doing. They told us many shootings are gang-related, and they are in the middle of an investigation that will lead to the arrest of multiple gang members.

The sheriff’s office also says they’ll increase traffic checks and put deputies in different parts of the county.