AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Two teens sit in jail and another one is wanted after a pair of shootings at two Richmond County high school football games. No one was injured after gunshots suspended play during the Laney – Thomson game at Laney. The incident Saturday during T.W. Josey’s homecoming tailgate left two people injured.
Now, both situations led to conversations across the CSRA about school safety.
You could see several cops down Essie McIntyre Blvd Saturday. Lots of people tailgating were also on school grounds. These shootings have the put a focus on safety at school and at sporting events.
NewsChannel 6 obtained the 911 calls made during the shooting at Josey.
“911, do you need police, fire or ambulance?”
“We need emergency at Josey Homecoming, 1607. We have a young man shot.”
“The guy, he ran down to this address. I don’t know.”
These calls and more were made all amid a crowd of people celebrating after T.W. Josey’s homecoming football game leaving two people injured. A similar scene played out Friday night at Laney High School’s game against Thomson, which was suspended in the third quarter. Investigators say no injuries reported there.
Richmond County school board members talked school safety just days before the two shootings during their committee meeting.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had two incidents with weapons recovered at games, one with a pellet gun and one with an actual weapon.”
They said both those weapons were concealed in the suspects’ pockets. That information sparking a bold motion by District 9 At Large Member Venus Cain.
“All sporting events, you must have a book bag that has to be clear and nothing larger than a clutch purse,” Cain said.
District 1 RCBOE School Board Member Shawnda Griffin added, “Venus, can you simplify that? You’re asking for a motion now?”
Cain replied, “Well, yeah. When it come to safety I don’t know about waiting because our kids and folks are getting kind of brave and brazen now. And I’d just hate for us to become a victim at one of our schools and one for somebody to get hurt.”
Board President Charlie Hannah, who represents Josey, said they are waiting on the Superintendent to bring a policy change suggestion. Meanwhile, more events are coming up leaving some parents wondering should they send their kids to ballgames.
“If my kid wanted to go to the game this weekend, I would be very apprehensive,” said parent advocate Monique Braswell. “No, I’m lying. I would say no.”
Braswell said with several events happening this coming weekend, such as Ironman, and homecoming games at Glenn Hills, Laney and ARC, school and community safety must be discussed.
Braswell added, “Anything that goes on outside of the school buildings is actually the sheriff’s responsibility.”
We talked with Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton who said the Sheriff’s Office works well with the BOE police already and there are plans address upcoming games.
“Have more of a police presence from both the BOE and the Sheriff’s Office,” he said.
Hannah added the board is meeting tomorrow after the investigation takes place to discuss next steps. Right now, he wants more resource officers at games.
Richmond County School System issued the following statement:
RCSS Safety Update for Upcoming Football Games and Booster Sponsored Homecoming Activities
“Richmond County School System Safety and Security are working closely with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that our students, families and fans continue to enjoy football games safely. We are also reviewing safety plans for upcoming homecoming activities sponsored by booster clubs and alumni associations to ensure that school alumni and families reconnecting with high school friends during homecoming tailgating activities are gathering with adequate security to help keep them safe.”
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps