Three shootings in 24 hours: Americus Police Chief speaks out
One victim remains in critical condition
AMERICUS, GA- The Americus Police Department is investigating a series of shootings which occurred within 24 hours.
Americus Police Chief, Mark Scott, spoke with South Georgia Television news regarding the incidents, stating:
“They don’t appear to be related” Scott says. “They’re all involving what appears to be teenagers. All three are still under investigation and we’re working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to find out what exactly happened in each of these three incidents.”
According to a press release issued by the Americus Police Department, the first shooting happened Wednesday, January 18th at approximately 11:54 A.M.
Officers responded to the apartments in the area of 60 Cherokee Street to a call of shots fired. On arrival, officers found a female victim with a minor wound to the foot and observed numerous shell casings along with evidence that a second person may have been injured.
A short time later, officers were notified of a gunshot victim at an apartment on 16th Green Street in Americus, where a black male victim was found and transported to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.
Chief Scott says “the Cherokee victim is still in critical condition… the other two were minor injuries.”
The other two shootings happened early Thursday morning (January, 19th).
At 6:26 A.M. officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Town Creek Circle in reference to a gun shot victim. Police found a 62 year-old female victim with a gunshot wound to the lower leg.
Witnesses say they observed two possible teenage suspects shoot at the victims home from the roadway then flee on foot.
The victim’s grandson, 17 year-old Kristopher Bridges, was transported to the Police Department for questioning but was uncooperative during the interview. At approximately 11:40 AM Bridges was arrested on Harold Avenue after being involved in another altercation. He was charged with Terroristic Threats and Battery then transported to the Sumter County Jail.
Three hours later at 9:41 A.M, officers were dispatched to Poplar and Jefferson street in reference to another gunshot victim. Upon arrival, officers found a 15 year-old female with a lower leg gunshot wound from an unknown person.
The initial investigation revealed that a 16 year-old male relative of the victim had caused a disturbance at the Fresh Start Academy shortly before the shooting. The disturbance was unruly enough that the school was placed on lockdown. The 16-year-old left the school with his 17-year-old sister and departed towards the McCoy Hill area where they met the 15 year old victim and another 17 year old female.
The four were walking together at the time of the shooting. The 16- year-old male has been charged with Disrupting a Public School. This case is still under investigation.
The APD has not arrested or charged anyone on the basis of these shootings, but are conducting a full and thorough invstigation.
Despite the chaos, Chief Scott explains activity like this is uncommon in Americus.
“We finished out last year with our crime stats lower than they have been in the past 30 years. Across the board as far as property crime, burgundy thefts and even violent crimes has been down from what is was in years past” Scott says.
Two of the shootings happened within school hours with all people of interest being under the age of 18. Scott says to keep young people out of criminal activity, it’s important for parents and the community to hold themselves and their children accountable.
“It’s up to the community to stand up and speak up…. Parents need to know that there’s resources. They’re not in this alone. We get calls everyday from parents who are having problems with their kids… but parents need to be accountable for their kids. They need to know where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing” Scott says.
Those resources mentioned by Chief Scott can be found below. All three of these investigations remain ongoing and if you have any information regarding these series of shootings, please contact the Americus Police Department at 229-924-3677 or after hours at 229-937-9011.
Stay tuned to South Georgia Television News on air and online as details continue to unfold.
GEORGIA CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE: 800-715-4225
GEORGIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: 800-33-HAVEN or 800-334-2836
VICTIM/WITNESS ASSISTANCE (District attorney’s office): 229-924-5411
SOWEGA VICTIMS ALLIANCE: 24 hour crisis line- 800-334-2836 or 229-331-0315
LIBERTY HOUSE *24 Hour crisis line: 229-439-7065
OPEN ARMS: 229-431-1121
SOUTHWEST GEORGIA CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE: 229-931-4488 or 229-431-4486
MIDDLE FLINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE: 229-931-6988
MAGISTRATE COURT: 229-928-4524