HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF) – One local community wants to understand how a murder happened in their neighborhood.
Richmond County deputies have arrested and charged 3 people in connection to the shooting death of a man in Walton Acres. 18-year-old Tyasia White, 18-year-old Oceania Snelling, and 23-year-old Devonta Devine are charged in the murder of 22-year-old Gerald Waldon.
Investigators are still searching for 18-year-old Tareke Collins in connection with the murder of Waldon.
A total of three young men have been killed in the past few days. A candlelight vigil is taking place Tuesday evening to remember one man who was killed last week.
The candlelight vigil is being held for Jahlil Brickhouse, killed last week on Lumpkin Road along with Malik Harvey.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with people from the neighborhood where Monday’s murder took place. And what’s interesting is social media activity shows two of the three suspects in that murder are connected to the victim, Harvey, in last week’s murder. One of them, posted to Facebook about getting a ride to Brickhouse’s vigil.
We spoke with a woman who witnessed the victim of Monday’s murder.
“I remember one of the neighbors saying that she actually called the police last night, like the night before when they heard the gun shots but the police didn’t come,” the witness said of the moment she saw Waldon’s body.
A few hours later, deputies did arrive to the entrance of Walton Acres and they found 22-year-old Gerald Waldon dead in a homeowner’s yard on Fox Den Road.
Most of the neighbors refused to go on camera, but all of them said this type of crime never happens. But Monday morning they found Waldon face down in the ground.
“It’s definitely not something you forget,” she remembered. “I close my eyes and I still see it.”
That witness was taking her children to their babysitter Monday morning and called a friend who lives nearby to alert him of the crime.
“It was surreal,” he said. “This doesn’t normally happen. I suspect this was a drug deal gone bad.”
Investigators report Waldon was shot at least one time and killed. They also said he lives nearby.
Neighbors told us it’s a sad case, but they are now planning to be more vigilant.
“Be aware and look out for one another. If you see something, say something. Don’t just go back inside or hope that somebody is going to take care of it. Do something if you can.”
The Walton Acres murder is still being investigated.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps