A violent weekend in Thomson interrupts, what police call, a quiet few months.
“When they get in these groups, things start happening,” said Thomson Police Chief Anson Evans. “The wrong things start happening, tempers flare, and people start shooting and doing things they shouldn’t be doing in the first place.”
Chief Evans tells News Channel 6 the violent crime rate is down in Thomson. But early Saturday morning, officers responded to a call of a person shot.
“Someone walked up on him and started shooting. He was trying to get away from the scene. It looked like an assassination at the time,” said Evans.
Authorities responded to a call of shots fired just a few blocks away in McDuffie County. Meanwhile, in neighboring Warren County, a young man was killed.
Evans could not disclose if the incidents are connected or gang-related. But he says it’s extremely important to keep children active so they don’t get involved in crime.
“What I would tell parents to do is continue to watch and monitor your kids. Keep them out of gangs. Keep them involved in sports and other things in your area. If not, stay active in their lives,” said Evans.
Chief Evans isn’t the only person with this message.
Child Enrichment Inc. is an advocacy group that provides counseling and support to abused children in the CSRA. The organization’s executive director, Kari Viola-Brooke, says exposure to violence can take a big toll on kids.
“It can affect their grades. It can affect them biologically. They can have higher risk of heart disease and earlier death,” said Viola-Brooke.
She says one of the best things to do is to educate children about gangs and crime in school.
“We need to not ignore it. when we ignore it, nothing is going to be done to stop this from impacting children,” said Viola-Brooke.