Americus community calls for action after recent shootings

Photo of a bullet hole in an Americus window. There have been recent events in the Americus...
Photo of a bullet hole in an Americus window. There have been recent events in the Americus community with one being a drive by shooting in the 800 block of N. Lee Street.(Source: WALB)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:56 PM EST
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) -The Americus Police Department is investigating Wednesday’s shooting which happened near two schools.

There is a school less than a few feet away from where the shooting occurred. Neighbors say they have lived here for a long time, and don’t plan on leaving.

“My mother has been living here since 1978. She is not afraid of anything. We are not afraid. I asked her if she wanted to go over my brother house, and she said she is not going to let anyone run her out her house,” Americus resident, Jonathan Gooden said.

Jonathan Gooden considers his home to be a safe place for him since he was little. However, recent events have been a first for him and his family.

“We had an incident where a vehicle pulled up to a pedestrian fired four shots. No one was hit or injured and then sped away. We put out photos of two different vehicles that witnesses saw in the area. We’ve been able to locate both of those vehicles in part because of public response,” Mark Scott, Americus police chief, said.

Due to the amount of traffic from people in the community on social media, law enforcement was able to track down these vehicles. They expect arrests will be made soon.

Police say one way to prevent these incidents is to host these law enforcement safety summits.

Still, people who live in Americus are concerned about the recent gun violence in town. City leaders even held a public forum to address their own concerns. Most residents seem to believe it’s getting worse.

“What’s going on in the community right now is very senseless and it has to stop,” Gooden said.

Americus police say they will be making arrests soon for the Wednesday shooting near two schools.

WALB spoke with one resident about where the shooting happened. He said that when the bullet came through the home, his nephew was inside at the time.

“Well, the anger comes because there is a bullet hole in my mothers’ house. My 11-year-old nephew was sleep in the same room that a bullet came through, and that shouldn’t happen,” Gooden said.

Police responded to shots fired in the 800 block of North Lee Street around 2:35 p.m. No one was injured, but one shot did hit a home, according to law enforcement.

Jonathan believes it will take the entire community to stop shootings like these in Americus.

“But we also need the men in the community to step up and step forward and not be afraid. And that’s my message to the community, we are not afraid, and we will not be moved,” Gooden said.

Law enforcement says that they have been working on summits for a year now to address crime, but these things take time.

“Our end goal is to try and intervene beforehand. To get the community support and find ways to address with our young people that there are better ways to solve disputes, than taking a gun and shooting each other,” said Mark Scott Americus Police Chief.

Another family member tells WALB that he is glad to see law enforcement taking action, but there is still more to be done.