Vigil held for teen shot and killed during Fourth of July weekend

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Thursday, July 11, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Dozens of family and friends gathered for the vigil of T'Rique McCollough, a teen that died after being shot on the Fourth of July. He was one of two teens who has been killed in Waynesboro with a few weeks.

T’Rique McCollough was shot and killed last weekend while lighting fireworks outside of his home.

Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says the shooting was gang-related.

This week, 10 members of the sheriff’s office went to Savannah for a four-day training on gang detection and prevention.

“We want them to know we won't tolerate gangs,” said Williams.

Burke County indicted 7 people the past two-plus years using the gang statute, a separate offense carrying its own jail sentence.

Gang statue in Georgia says three or more people involved in criminal activity could be considered a gang. So if you and two friends are doing something bad, you could be charged with gang activity.

T'Rique’s family has their own message for kids involved in gangs.

“If they truly truly knew what a gang was they would put down all the guns, pick up a bible, and fight the devil,” said the aunt of T’Rique.

A community and a sheriff’s office united on stopping gang activity.

Besides earlier teen curfews, officers have taken other steps to help with this issue. The sheriff says they've tripled the number of officers out patrolling problem areas on any given day. He says it's not a change you're probably going to see immediately, but you'll see changes over time.

They're hoping to double or triple the number of gang prosecutions.