Worker, 19, killed in party shooting

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A 16th birthday party for one of James Brown's grandchildren ended tragically Saturday in the shooting death of an employee of the Columbia County facility where the party was held.



James S. Gillette Jr., 19, of Kensington Drive in Augusta, was pronounced dead at 12:45 a.m. at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was taken after being shot at Belair Conference Center, Columbia County Chief Deputy Coroner Bonnie Holloway said.

Gillette had worked at the private facility off Jimmie Dyess Parkway for about two months, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

The shooting took place after fighting broke out, Morris said. About 200 to 300 people were in attendance, and there was no known security, he said.

Patrons had been asked to leave because of the fighting but were being allowed back inside when shots were fired, Morris said. One of them hit Gillette, who collapsed just outside the building's front door, he said.

Morris did not know what the victim was doing at the time he was shot or whether he was the intended target.

Deanna Brown, a daughter of the soul singer, confirmed Sunday that the party was being held for her niece. Brown said she did not attend the event and had no other information.

After the shooting, several people were seen leaving in two vehicles, both of which were riding on at least one "donut" spare tire, Morris said. Authorities have a partial ID on one of the suspects, a black male known as "DQ," but had made no arrests as of 9 p.m. Sunday.

The suspects' vehicles were a blue or dark gray minivan with spares on both rear tires and a silver-colored Toyota or Chevrolet Impala with a spare on a rear tire, Morris said. The sedan also had a broken passenger window covered with plastic, he said.

Gillette suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and his body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for an autopsy, according to Holloway.

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countyman
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countyman 03/20/11 - 04:27 pm
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So when there's a murder in

So when there's a murder in Columbia County it's West Augusta? If a developer were building a new hotel would it be called West Augusta?

I know some of the businesses have a Augusta address, but the area is clearly unincorporated Grovetown or Martinez....

None of the other media outlest are reporting the homicide happen in West Augusta except for the Chronicle.. The same paper who only prints the Richmond County tribunals..

Oh, and there are several Martinez addresses in West Augusta.. I don't notice Martinez being used in the paper for Richmond County..

Sweet son
11770
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Sweet son 03/20/11 - 06:03 pm
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Only when it happens in

Only when it happens in Hephzibah! Update! Update! I am so glad that the AC got it right for our own countyman.

countyman
21687
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countyman 03/20/11 - 04:35 pm
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The Chronicle has now removed

The Chronicle has now removed West Augusta from the article..

I agree how they tend to do the same thing with the city of Hephzibah.. The incidents the paper reports 99% of the time never actual happen in the city limits of Hephzibah(south of willis foreman rd)... The zipcode 30815 is about 35k and the city is 6k-7k people...

J.W.
2
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J.W. 03/20/11 - 04:42 pm
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Here's a wild guess....party

Here's a wild guess....party at the conference center complete with cover charge and illegal bar. Attendees from out of the county. Let's see if I'm right.

countyman
21687
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countyman 03/20/11 - 05:14 pm
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It's sad to hear the young

It's sad to hear the young man who died was working at the center and trying to help the guest...

Einstein
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Einstein 03/20/11 - 05:16 pm
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Is this really a conference

Is this really a conference center, or is it a Speakeasy for underage drinking? Providing a link in the article to the questionable establishment seems to have been done for a reason.

poohbear1964
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poohbear1964 03/20/11 - 06:09 pm
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It happen to be a birthday

It happen to be a birthday party for one of james brown's grand daughters.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/20/11 - 06:35 pm
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Those "birthday parties" are

Those "birthday parties" are bad news. The gang members come and start shooting. It happens all the time in Charlotte.

People rent out the building, issue blanket invitations, charge a cover charge, and make money, supposedly at a "private" party.

I don't understand what parents think in today's times. No 16 year old needs a party held at a conference center.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/20/11 - 07:13 pm
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God Bless His Soul.
Unpublished

God Bless His Soul.

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 03/20/11 - 07:19 pm
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Maybe now the so call

Maybe now the so call "conference center" will use better judgement in how these types of events are held, and have the proper security in place to deal with fights, etc. May God Bless the young person killed and his family.

snuffygerkins
0
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snuffygerkins 03/20/11 - 07:20 pm
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The web-site for the

The web-site for the conference center says that it is located in West Augusta.

J.W.
2
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J.W. 03/20/11 - 07:25 pm
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Looks like the old crystal

Looks like the old crystal ball is working pretty good today. Hate to see any young person lose their life, my sympathy to the young man's family.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 03/20/11 - 07:39 pm
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Yep, Richmond County folks

Yep, Richmond County folks come over & murder another Richmond County boy in Columbia County, fantastic. It all points back to......Richmond County.

It's too bad this young man was shot. He was just out trying to earn a living.

soldout
1283
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soldout 03/20/11 - 07:34 pm
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my suggestion: vote the

my suggestion: vote the county dry again and see if it reduces this type of thing.

augusta citizen
10075
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augusta citizen 03/20/11 - 08:00 pm
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Right, the main thing is a

Right, the main thing is a working young man was killed, but I knew some would quickly point out that it happened in Columbia County, and as expected they did. Prayers to this young man's family.

jahree2
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jahree2 03/20/11 - 08:27 pm
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Wow it's amazing what people

Wow it's amazing what people assume but don't have a clue!!!
There was NO alcohol and NO cover charge! A private party that was bombarded by a few hoodlums. After they were put out of the party...instead of leaving they decided to return with guns. It's sad young people don't know how to have a good time. This happens too often...some lowlife that has no value for human life! How do you think the 16 year old feels about someone losing their life on the day she was celebrating her "sweet" 16!

Frankie-B
48
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Frankie-B 03/20/11 - 08:53 pm
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Sad. And sad to blame the

Sad. And sad to blame the facility, too. It's just a simple place adjacent to a few hotels. I've attended training seminars there myself. Place the blame squarely where it belongs; on the one who pulled the trigger.

Frankie-B
48
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Frankie-B 03/20/11 - 08:53 pm
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Sad. And sad to blame the

Sad. And sad to blame the facility, too. It's just a simple place adjacent to a few hotels. I've attended training seminars there myself. Place the blame squarely where it belongs; on the one who pulled the trigger.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 03/20/11 - 10:29 pm
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Wish we had better

Wish we had better descriptions. A Black male named DQ is all i got anyone else got anything better? The three donut tires on the van & the car seen leaving would be nice too if about so many cars didn't have donut tires on their cars too. Truly hate to hear about his young man passing on. Hope we catch his killer so his family can start to heal, as if you can ever get over anything like this.

bb4560
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bb4560 03/20/11 - 11:35 pm
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this is so sad both richmond

this is so sad both richmond and columbia counties should stop allowing these parties to go on the music these days that they play boosts alot of these tradegys it is alot of gang related issues that goes with these parties people needs to wake up

bb4560
0
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bb4560 03/20/11 - 11:38 pm
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my heart goes out to the

my heart goes out to the victims family my thoughts and prayers are with you

Brad Owens
4922
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Brad Owens 03/21/11 - 12:06 am
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Another death at the hands of

Another death at the hands of a violent criminal. I am sad for the family of this young person. Seems this is becoming the norm and not the exception these days, there needs to be more armed private security at events like this I guess.

Oh, and countryman, thanks for getting upset that a story about a young person's tragic death hurts your cheerleading for how wonderful Augusta is.

Now give us all the list of crime stats and the standard list of projects (all giverment funded) and talk about how Augusta is not REALLY a crime ridden violent place these days. Oh, and throw in some kudos for the massive .4% growth in the past decade while you are at it.

KEEP YOU EYE ON THE BALL HERE! A person's life is worth more than that to me.

I hope they catch the killers and bring them to justice.

Brad

sugarbutton
1261
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sugarbutton 03/21/11 - 05:50 am
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The first thing I feel is

The first thing I feel is sadness at the loss of a young man when I read the headline. Then you go to the comments and read all this negative about where it happened. Thankfully, there were a couple of people on here that care that a life has been lost. Prayers to the family of this man.

corgimom
38780
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corgimom 03/21/11 - 05:53 am
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Oh, sure, there were a bunch

Oh, sure, there were a bunch of teenagers at a unsupervised party, and there wasn't a drop of alcohol.

It was just a intimate little party for 250 people.

And there just so happened that someone there had a gun- because everyone brings guns to a birthday party.

augusta citizen
10075
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augusta citizen 03/21/11 - 05:54 am
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We all need to keep this

We all need to keep this young man's Mother in our prayers. I read on another site that he was her only child. I can't begin to imagine how much grief she is in.

nuffsaid
0
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nuffsaid 03/21/11 - 05:57 am
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Just saw the kid who was

Just saw the kid who was helping the people at the party get back to safety while the "HOODlums" started shooting. Explained even more to me. God Bless his Momma.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 03/21/11 - 06:10 am
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What difference does it make

What difference does it make where it happened? The fact is that an innocent life was taken. The owners of these places regardless of where they are located need to be more careful of the type of events they rent out for. So what if it is James Brown's grandaughter? If it is the type of party that they suspect will bring the wrong ype of crowd then don't rent it to them, I could care less who the party is for....or whose feelings it may hurt. Maybe they need metal detectors installed and pay security to be on the outside. I pray for this young mans family.

tarryl
2
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tarryl 03/21/11 - 07:10 am
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@nuffsaid...I used to work

@nuffsaid...I used to work with this kid's father and mother a long time ago. So sad that this happened to them. My prayers go out to this child's parents. I remember when I saw this kid as a baby. This is horrible.

Jillian
2
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Jillian 03/21/11 - 08:23 am
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I just can't imagine dropping

I just can't imagine dropping my kid off for work and getting a call a few hours later he is dead. Saying special prayers for the mother and don't care what county it happened in. A young man's life is more important than anything else in this story...along with catching the killer and prosecuting him/her fully.

jones255
0
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jones255 03/21/11 - 09:22 am
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Prayers go out to the

Prayers go out to the parents. @jahree2 - the sooner those "hoodlums" are hooked up to a needle, the better. I agree - this is some memory for a new 16 year-old to have to bear for the rest of her life.

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