1 dead in Sumter Co. Memorial Day shooting, investigation underway

The GBI said the shooting happened on Monday, around 1:15 a.m.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 11:04 AM EDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a shooting incident at the American Legion Club on Highway 30 where one person was killed.

Two people were shot and one person ended up dying from the shooting, according to the GBI.

The GBI said the shooting happened on Monday, around 1:15 a.m.

“Shots were fired on the outside of the facility, which resulted in a gentleman losing his life. At this point, we don’t know what the altercation was between the two individuals. However, we are actively investigating this case, and hope to have a suspect soon,” Eric Bryant, Sumter County sheriff, said.

The GBI said there were numerous witnesses to the shooting. Bryant said many were confused on what actually happened.

“Unfortunately, there was a lot of confusion and congestion but everybody cooperated with law enforcement so that we could get to the patient, and transport him to the hospital,” Bryant said.

The sheriff said law enforcement believes the second victim was hit by a stray bullet and has been released from the hospital.

John Brown is a veteran and lives in Americus. Brown said he doesn’t feel safe and something like this shouldn’t happen on Memorial Day.

“I feel unsafe most of the time when you get a large crowd over there. Because I don’t think they have security. They have already asked me about security and it’s just too dangerous. You need security inside and outside with a club like that,” Brown said.

Brown said that incidents like this didn’t use to happen a few years back. He’s been living in Americus for 20 years and feels security is an issue that is lacking in the community.

“It was pretty nice. We didn’t have these problems because you had people like me, a former veteran, that was taking care of the place. It had security and everything but now in the later years it has become pretty serious about being dangerous,” he said.

The GBI and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office ask anyone with information on the incident to call the GBI regional investigative office in Americus at (229) 931-2439 or the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 924-4094. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1(800) 597-TIPS, online or through the See Something, Say Something mobile app.