A man is in jail after police say he shot into the air on Broad Street early Saturday, less than a week from August’s First Friday.
At 2:30 a.m., a Richmond County deputy working a special duty in the 800 block of Broad Street heard gunshots coming from outside Joe’s Underground Cafe at 144 Eighth Street, an incident report said.
The deputy and another officer approached the area and saw people scattering. One officer saw Jonathan Velazquez, 31, firing into the air, the report said.
The deputies told Valazquez to drop the weapon, but he ran behind a car, where he was apprehended. Deputies found a handgun and three 9 mm casings near him. A check of the gun revealed it was stolen, then officers learned Velazquez was a convicted felon out of Florida, the report said.
No one was hurt in the shooting. Velazquez was arrested on charges of reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to jail records.
August’s First Friday will be the first since six people were wounded by bullets shortly after this month’s event was supposed to be over.
On Wednesday, a panel assembled by City Administrator Fred Russell decided to enforce a ban on illegal street vendors in hopes of eliminating the late-night attraction for young people.
Sweeps of illegal vendors will be made by Augusta’s licensing department, and at 9:30 p.m. the sheriff’s office will encourage closure. Russell said Wednesday that vendors’ street presence should be gone by 10 p.m.
Yolanda Greenwood, the city’s special events manager, has said First Friday festivities will continue Aug. 3 with a family-friendly event on Augusta Common and a concert at Jessye Norman Amphitheater.