AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – In an effort to stop gun violence in Augusta, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office started the initiative, “Suns Out, Guns Out of the Wrong Hands.”
In the last two days, there have been at least two shootings. So, is the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office program working?
More than a week into the summer initiative, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says the 100-day program is off to a great start. On Friday, reporting 28 illegal guns have been seized so far, but shootings are still far too common in Augusta.
“This isn’t just getting guns. This is getting guns that are being used illegally,” said Lieutenant Allan Rollins.
Richmond County Investigators are working around the clock to collect 500 illegal weapons through the “Suns Out, Guns Out of The Wrong Hands” initiative. Within the first week arresting 21 people, 8 of them convicted criminals. Lieutenant Rollins reports 6 of the 28 guns the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office collected were stolen.
“So, if they were used in a crime. They will be held as evidence,” Rollins told WJBF News Channel 6.
Even with the program offering $200 rewards to citizens, whose tips lead to an arrest, shootings and criminal activity continue in Augusta. Saturday night, Richmond County Deputies responded to a shooting at Jennings Homes Apartments right off Olive Road.
“Neighbors basically stated that prior to the shooting. They had heard an argument taking place and that a black male was seen fleeing the area,” Lieutenant Lewis Blanchard said.
Deputies tell News Channel 6 a 25-year-old female was shot several times and transported to the hospital. Her grandmother tells us she is recovering and will be okay.
Sunday morning, Richmond County Deputies again responded to the same apartment complex where the body of 29-year-old Marion Terry was found.
Now many people are taking to social media to voice their concerns of the ongoing problem saying… “Why can’t people just stop with the hate and violence.”
Although, it is not known if the weapons used in both of these incidents were illegally obtained, the Sheriff’s Office needs the help of everyone in Richmond County to stop the violence.
“They are our eyes and ears. They are out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We cannot be, so we really depend on them to let us know what is going on in their community,” Rollins said.
“Suns Out, Guns Out of the Wrong Hands” continues until August 12th and we will routinely update you on how the program in doing through the remainder of the 100 days.
If you have any information we urge you to call the 24-hour tip line at 1-866-939-5050.