AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – People who work and shop near Gordon Highway and Deans Bridge Road weighed in on how safe the area is after a daytime attempted robbery and shooting at a popular fast food restaurant. The fatal shooting at the Subway on Gordon Hwy Sunday seemed like an isolated incident not just to the people nearby, but the manager told NewsChannel 6 the same thing.
He decided not to talk on camera in order to continue working with Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, but he did say the area was seemingly safe and that his employee was entitled by state of Georgia law to carry the weapon to work.
Janice Gaston, of Sandersville, said, “If her life was threatened she did the right thing.”
We spoke with Gaston and John Diggs outside of the Dollar Tree nearby. Diggs said, “I don’t know. I probably would have done the same thing.”
It was nothing but complete understanding from people in the community who heard about the actions of a Subway employee who shot a man attempting to rob her at work and hurting her son.
“It’s terrible. Hitting a kid? No no no. Not a crowbar,” Diggs explained.
24-year old Cornelius Harrison of Greensboro, North Carolina walked into the Gordon Highway Subway at noon Sunday with another man. The Sheriff’s Office released information Monday that links 25-year-old Brandon Simmons, of Durham, North Carolina, as a suspect in the incident. They talked with the woman working there briefly before Harrison went to the restroom and his partner began pacing the place. Something seemed suspicious so the employee grabbed her gun from her purse. That’s when Harrison jumped the counter while the other man hit the woman’s teenage son on his head with a car jack handle. The Subway worker fired two shots and chased the men outside, eventually shooting Harrison to death while the man who hit her son escaped. Other businesses and shoppers in the area say they feel safe.
Augusta resident Norman Greene said, “They looking for somebody with some money and I ain’t got none.”
“I shop here [Dollar Tree] and I shop over at KMart. I don’t think it’s a bad place. It’s the people not the place,” Diggs said.
District 5 Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett agreed, saying the area is fine, but leaders must improve south Augusta.
He stated, “It’s not any worse than some other places in town. But when you have a community that’s declining and you can tell because you see so many cheap stores. You see all these stores such as the ones that will loan you money if you leave your car title. That’s a sign that the neighborhood is going down.”
Lockett said more complaints from the community would help, but more commissioners need to step up too.
“We need to have six commissioners who have districts such as mine with all the blighted structure, overgrown vegetation, for them to step up to the plate and say Madam Administrator, Mr. Mayor, we want to pull several million dollars that we have that’s sitting in the bank gaining interests, taxpayers money and we are going to use it to make their lives better,” he explained.
According to the manager, the victim was not at work Monday. She actually had the day off and she and Subway are working with the Sheriff’s Office because there is still one man who got away. Again, the second suspect, Brandon Simmons, is now in custody.