QUITMAN COUNTY, GA (WXTX) -- Officials with the Quitman County Sheriff's Department say gang and drug related violence has gotten out of hand in their area.
"We have several people here who can't even get outside at night because of the gunfire and gang activity that's been occurring over the past few months," said Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram.
Police say a prime example of that was a shooting this past weekend. Three gunmen, one armed with a machine gun, fired 30 shots at an empty house-all part of a gang fight.
"Two rival factions, two sets of thugs, have been going at it for about a week and it just escalated into the shooting," said Ingram.
Caught in the crossfire- a toddler playing in the house across the street. His father, who did not want to be identified, revealed to News Leader 9 how one of the stray bullets came into their house and struck his son in the leg.
"He looked up at us with this little grin on his face and when he did, we heard tap, tap and then it just went crazy with a bunch of shots and he just started screaming. It's a crazy wild accident. I'm relieved they caught most of them," the tot's father said.
"I've lived here five years and nothing like this has ever happened. I'm kind of shaken up about the things that have been going on," added Mary Warren, their neighbor.
Police have arrested and charged Tommy and Marques Ivory in the shooting. Last but not least, is Jeremy Granger. He was arrested in Stewart County late Wednesday after staying under the radar of federal, state and local agents, K-9 units and a state helicopter.
The new Sheriff in town, Steve Newton, and his deputies say this is only the beginning when it comes to cracking down on crime.