Worker is killed in plant shooting

Hephzibah man in custody

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A shooting that followed an argument left a Columbia County employee and father of three dead Friday at his workplace, a wastewater treatment plant on Stevens Creek Road.

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Investigators respond to a shooting at a wastewater treatment plant on Stevens Creek Road. Thomas Bradford, 43, was arrested.   Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Investigators respond to a shooting at a wastewater treatment plant on Stevens Creek Road. Thomas Bradford, 43, was arrested.

Raymond V. Lee, 37, of Grovetown, was shot at least once in the chest and taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police arrested Thomas Bradford, 43, of Hephzibah, a contracted truck driver who was hauling waste from the Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Martinez, Deputy Coroner Harriet Garrison said.

Bradford, a driver with Thomson-based Hudsons Grassing Co. Inc., was arrested about 2 p.m. and charged with murder.

Calls to the company were not answered Friday.

Bradford, who hauled sludge from wastewater treatment plants to facilities in Jefferson and Lincoln counties, was about to put a ripped tarp on his truck when someone told him to replace it, and an argument started, said County Commission Chairman Ron Cross.

Bradford and Lee might have had a disagreement in the past, Cross said.

When Bradford started to dump the waste, Lee told him to stop. Cross said Bradford initially tried to run over Lee with his truck.

Garrison said she was told Bradford went to his truck to get a gun after an altercation, and the two men struggled. According to witnesses, Bradford pushed Lee back and shot him, she said.

Bradford called 911 and told dispatchers he'd left his .380-caliber pistol on the running board of his truck, according to police radio reports. His call was disconnected, but he called back and said he was on his knees in the back parking lot.

Lee's body was taken to the GBI crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy, Garrison said.

Lee had worked for the county for 14 years, Cross said. His middle child has a heart condition and recently was accepted for treatment at a Mayo Clinic, Cross said.

"It's just a bad situation," he said.

Cross said county officials are discussing setting up an education fund for Lee's children and would have more details next week.

Comments (31) Add comment
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kmb413
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kmb413 04/01/11 - 02:36 pm
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Now start the comments about

Now start the comments about crime in CC.

Aside from that, I hope everyone is okay.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 04/01/11 - 02:43 pm
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Bad and sad news coming, I am

Bad and sad news coming, I am afraid.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 04/01/11 - 02:44 pm
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Crime has picked up in

Crime has picked up in Col.cty......just had a friend tell me of 2 break-ins in Col. cty this week.......Ashley Cicle area.

soldout
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soldout 04/01/11 - 02:45 pm
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more emergency vehicles went

more emergency vehicles went down Evans to Locks road than I have ever seen. 311 referred me to someone who said a person was in custody and there was no danger to the public.

Blackeyes
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Blackeyes 04/01/11 - 02:46 pm
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Austin, do you have more

Austin, do you have more info? Praying everyone is ok

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 04/01/11 - 02:57 pm
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:-(

:-(

kmb413
533
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kmb413 04/01/11 - 02:58 pm
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One of my coworkers house was

One of my coworkers house was broken into in that area this week too.

happychimer
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happychimer 04/01/11 - 03:34 pm
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WRDW says man shot in chest

WRDW says man shot in chest taken to hospital, and names the shooter arrested.

CricketSeranade
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CricketSeranade 04/01/11 - 03:49 pm
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Channel 12 is now reporting

Channel 12 is now reporting the coroner has been called to meet investigators at the hospital. :(

kmb413
533
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kmb413 04/01/11 - 04:21 pm
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What could have been so bad

What could have been so bad to have to shoot someone?

poolmom
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poolmom 04/01/11 - 04:31 pm
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This is so sad. I pray for

This is so sad. I pray for both of the families.

grouse
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grouse 04/01/11 - 05:56 pm
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"Bradford is a contracted
Unpublished

"Bradford is a contracted truck driver that was hauling waste off the site." "Who was," darn it, "who was..."

happychimer
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happychimer 04/01/11 - 06:01 pm
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NBC Augusta reports the

NBC Augusta reports the victim was a supervisor.

mz5wrd
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mz5wrd 04/01/11 - 06:29 pm
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I went to high school with

I went to high school with the victim. I cannot believe this has happened to him.

happychimer
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happychimer 04/01/11 - 06:41 pm
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WRDW now names the victim.

WRDW now names the victim.

Sweet son
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Sweet son 04/01/11 - 07:03 pm
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Told you that I would get

Told you that I would get pulled but it was worth it. This is so senseless!!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 04/01/11 - 08:20 pm
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Great Job with the fast

Great Job with the fast response and being first on the scene by the Georgia State Patrol. Ensuring the safety and welfare of all citizens in cooperation with local law enforcement is always great to see.

OhWell
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OhWell 04/01/11 - 08:33 pm
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Is this the same Thomas

Is this the same Thomas Bradford who is listed on Georgia Department of Corrections web site as serving almost 9 years for voluntary manslaughter in 1989 to 1998 in Lanier County?

proudfather
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proudfather 04/01/11 - 08:42 pm
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I'm afraid it's only going to

I'm afraid it's only going to get worse!

TCB22
596
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TCB22 04/01/11 - 08:54 pm
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Interesting Asitisinaug. I

Interesting Asitisinaug. I wasn't aware of that. Having GSP in our county has already made a positive difference. They are to commended for their quick action. Keep up the great work GA State Patrol! You make us feel safer.

happychimer
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happychimer 04/01/11 - 09:48 pm
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The name of the victim was

The name of the victim was released hours ago.

smAShT
40
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smAShT 04/01/11 - 09:55 pm
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RIP...raymond lee....great

RIP...raymond lee....great operator...this is coming from a former water operator in columbia county!!!

polyman
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polyman 04/01/11 - 10:15 pm
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This is just so,so,so sad!

This is just so,so,so sad! What a waste of life. One man dead, and the other going to prison. How awful.

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 04/02/11 - 06:35 am
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OhWell - doesn't look like

OhWell - doesn't look like the same Thomas Bradford you are talking about.

Medusa
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Medusa 04/02/11 - 07:17 am
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Fry the S_B. Excuse me, I

Fry the S_B. Excuse me, I shouldn't say that. I'm sure Bradford (I won't say Mr. Bradford) had a misguided childhood and his family and friends will tell us what a nice person he is and that they just can't understand what made him do this horrible thing. There is no excuse for this. What is our society becoming?

seenitB4
79298
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seenitB4 04/02/11 - 08:02 am
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We are a stressed out

We are a stressed out society....24 hours a day news & most of it is depressing.
No reason to kill though.

WAG
287
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WAG 04/02/11 - 08:50 am
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This is so sad. Just makes me

This is so sad. Just makes me want to cry. Such a waste. Doesn't any one value life anymore.. 2 families ruined over nothing. No argument is worth death. My y heart goes out to boht families.

snuffygerkins
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snuffygerkins 04/02/11 - 08:55 am
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With all the comparisons of

With all the comparisons of crime in Richmond and Columbia counties, you fail to realize that most crimes are NOT random. The majority of violent crimes and murders are between people who know each other....Either drug deals gone bad or family members, or in the case of this tragedy an altercation between a man doing his job and a mentally unbalanced truck driver....(far too many of those on the roads).

bolee
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bolee 04/02/11 - 08:57 am
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Raymond is my brother.

Raymond is my brother. Everyone loves him. He is the most hard working person I have ever met in my life. My brother worked so hard to take care of his beautiful family. His birthday is on the 15th- he's so young. I love you and I will miss you so much. Don't worry because I will do everything I possibly can to take care of my nieces and nephew. Rest in peace, big brother.

airbud7
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airbud7 04/02/11 - 09:44 am
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bolee, My Heart goes out to

bolee, My Heart goes out to you.

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