Community takes action after 2 teens killed

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- City leaders and teens in Waynesboro are talking about what can be done after two deadly shootings within a couple of weeks.

Last night 19-year-old T'Rique McCollough died after being shot in Briarwood Apartments on July 4th.

Two weeks earlier, 17-year-old Tybrelyn Kelly was killed in Sardis nearby.

T'Rique's family left some balloons and flowers in memory of him. There's also some bears and flowers. Some of his friends also came out and wrote long live Whodie on the street, they say Whodie was his nickname given to him by his Nannie. They say they'll remember him as the nice, funny young man he was.

Vickey Bates said goodbye to her grandson T'Rique McCollough last night.

“He was very silly and energetic and just full of life," said Bates.

T'Rique was shot on the Fourth of July and died four days later.

"It was devastating, when I got the news I made my way down here and I just saw him laying on the floor, body was lifeless and all glimmer of hope was gone," said Bates.

Now 16-year-old Vernon Rhodes is behind bars for his murder. The Burke County community is stepping up to stop the violence, starting with the curfew.

“Now we're enforcing it totally simply for the reason they're just getting in trouble, they're not being responsible they're not thinking, and it's not everybody, it's just there are a select few," said Greg Carswell, the mayor for the city of Waynesboro.

To make sure it's enforced, law enforcement is making rounds each night.

“Having the cops going around in each neighborhood, watching, looking, if I see you out past the time then I say hey what are you doing, where are you going, lets get in," said Carswell.

The curfew affects anyone 17 and under. It is a small change but one that could save another family from what T'Rique's is going through now.

"I thank God he lent my grandson to us for 19 years and in his short time on this earth, he accomplished a lot," said Bates.

T'Rique's family is holding a candlelight vigil on Thursday night between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. All are welcome to remember T'Rique.

The Waynesboro curfew is 11 p.m.-6 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

If you have a child that breaks the curfew you and your child could get a warning or a citation and be fined or face jail time. News 12 asked last weekend no citations or warnings but police say that will change.