January murder of Augusta teen remains unsolved

 Four months later, the death of a 16-year-old Academy of Richmond County student remains a mystery, police say, the only unsolved homicide in Augusta’s 10 cases this year.

Kyle Royal died after a Jan. 16 shooting outside Magic City, an unlicensed club at 3200 Mike Padgett Highway. Richmond County authorities believe the teen was fatally shot during a
gunfire exchange about 2 a.m.

“It’s frustrating (for the family),” said Sgt. Bill Leisey, “but they understand that we’re not getting leads.”

In April the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office offered a reward of $5,000 in the unsolved case, but it produced few results.

Leisey said one of the issues in this case is that there were a number of people shooting in the chaos after a fight started on the dance floor and spilled into the parking lot. Investigators estimate there were 200 people at the club.

For investigators, the situation presents a problem in finding witnesses and finding the owner of the .45-caliber bullet that hit the teen in the head.

Investigators found more than 30 shells from .32-caliber, .38-caliber, .40-caliber, .45-caliber and 9 mm weapons on Magic City’s property and on the road in front of the building.

Royal’s body was found in a wrecked car at Lumpkin Road and Mike Padgett
Highway after the car’s driver lost control turning onto Lumpkin Road. Authorities believe Royal was hit while the vehicle fled the area.

Another man, identified as LaBrall Smith, 19, was shot in the leg in the parking lot gun battle.

Patrick Walton, the owner of Magic City, was charged with a felony count of giving a false statement in a government matter. His business license had been revoked in December.

Sheriff's office offers reward for information on shooter in January homicide outside Augusta club
Number of Richmond County homicides up compared with this time last year
Augusta teen club owner charged with lying about business application
Augusta club where shooting happened not properly licensed
Augusta teen found shot dead in wrecked car
REWARD OFFERED

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the Jan. 16 murder of Kyle Royal.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (706) 821-1020.

View a database of area homicides

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