Recent Violent Crime Increase in Augusta

AUGUSTA -- There were two murders in Augusta this week.

Both of them are alarming to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

"Every person involved in these cases, including the deceased and the ones who were injured, all of them brought a gun to situation. We rarely ever see a situation where every person involved is in possession of a firearm. That's what we're trying to look at," Sheriff Richard Roundtree said.

There have been 8 murders so far this year.

Through the same period last year, there were 4.

In 2014, there were also 4.

In 2013, there were 2.

The number was even higher in 2012 with 12 murders.

"I think we've seen in an increase in gun violence. Across the board, our numbers have gone down, as far as total violent crimes, but a large number of the cases we're seeing a lot of juveniles in possession of handguns," the sheriff said.

Roundtree says the problem is the culture to think it's okay to carry a handgun as a statement.

He says it only leads to trouble.

"We just had a robbery of a food delivery person a couple of days ago. They were two teenagers who had a gun and just robbed a person who had less than $20 on them," the sheriff said.

The solution is to get the illegal guns of the streets.

The sheriff says his deputies are seizing illegal guns everyday, but it's difficult to find them all.

"We are trying to see exactly where the guns are being brought in. we are working with federal authorities, of course, to see if there is a connection to a large influx of guns in this area or not," Roundtree said.

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