Deputies fight rising tide of shootings, slayings in Augusta

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re continuing to track violent crime numbers in Augusta after a recent shooting victim was sent to the hospital.

We’ve checked the number of reported aggravated assaults in 2022 and how it measures up to other cities similar in size.

Shootings like these are continuing in Augusta, and it’s a trend the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is trying to cut down amid an increase in deadly crimes across the CSRA that’s claimed nearly 50 lives since mid-April.


At the playground, Mariyah Dempsey always expects her kids to be safe. She was surprised when her kids came running home crying and terrified.

“My son said, ‘Mom, all I could do is grab my 3-year-old brother and run. I ran as fast as I could back to you’,” she said.

She says a shooting happened 50 yards away from where her kids were playing.

Shawanna Fields says her nephew was the victim.

Shawanna Fields
Shawanna Fields(WRDW)

“I’m hurt that my babies had to run home because they were at a park playing and they were shooting,” said Fields.

We wanted to look at violent crime and property crime in Richmond County over a longer period of time.

We found all but two crimes decreased since 2014. Aggravated assaults with a gun or shootings are on the rise, and by our estimates, we’re on track to have the second-highest homicide rate in eight years.

“We do have too many shootings. There’s no questions about that,” said Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton.

We asked him if he feels like deputies are doing a good job to keep homicides down.

“Yes, I feel like we’re doing everything we can and we’re going to continue looking at ways to bring them down even more,” he said.

Clayton says that compared to other counties across the state, Richmond County is doing better on crime.

“We’ve been very aggressive on that. We are working,” he said.

While deputies are working, shootings are leaving some families feeling uncertain about the future.

Dempsey said: “This is my home, and I’m just on edge because I’m not sure if it should be my home anymore.”

Clayton says they have about an 83 percent clearance rate on homicide cases, so he says they’re catching the people committing the crimes. With homicides, he says those are by far the hardest crimes to predict.