Shooting triggers chaos

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People hurled rocks and bottles at Richmond County sheriff's deputies Sunday after word spread that police had shot a fleeing suspect near the Cherry Tree Crossing housing project off 15th Street.

Many in the loud, angry crowd of perhaps 200 people said the suspect had been killed, but a Richmond County coroner said at 11:30 p.m. that his office had not been notified.

Augusta Commissioner Corey Johnson, whose district includes the housing project, said he had been told the man was hospitalized in critical condition. Officials would not confirm his name or identify the hospital.

"They don't think he's gonna make it," Mr. Johnson said.

Extra deputies were called in to handle crowd control, and gunfire was heard at the scene after nightfall.

"That's not the answer," Mr. Johnson said. "The riot is not the answer. It's not gonna help get to the bottom of the situation."

Several fires were set in large trash bins around the community, and fire department officials advised their units to leave them alone to burn out.

Sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said the incident on Carver Drive near the 15th Street intersection began at 4:21 p.m. and involved two sheriff's officers. He said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had taken over the case, and he referred questions to the agency.

In an interview at the Sheriff's Office, GBI Agent Pat Morgan said early Sunday evening that he had reviewed the scene and was preparing to interview witnesses.

"This is my first time working a shooting in Richmond County like that," he said when asked about the crowd.

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength is expected to hold a briefing today, Lt. Peebles said.

Mr. Johnson, the district's commissioner, said Sunday night that he was told the Sheriff's Office got a tip that a stolen black SUV was in the area, carrying drugs and guns. Police found the Chevrolet and boxed it in, parking one police car in front and one behind.

Mr. Johnson said he was told the driver tried to escape, backing into the car behind him and ramming the one in front. The driver was shot while apparently trying to ram the squad car in front, Mr. Johnson said.

After the shooting, witnesses said the suspect's car continued to go down the street, stopping when it ran into a gate near a tree.

Mr. Johnson said that when the driver made the choice to ram police cars, he turned his vehicle into a weapon, giving police justification to defend themselves.

"It's just an unfortunate situation," Mr. Johnson said. "I hate that a man got shot. I hate that it happened the way it did," he said.

Staff writers Adam Folk and Preston Sparks contributed to this story.

Reach Johnny Edwards and Michelle Guffey at (706) 724-0851.

Comments (233) Add comment
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Riverman1
90820
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Riverman1 12/15/08 - 09:45 am
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Mr. Gosh, I missed it where

Mr. Gosh, I missed it where it said the vehicle was stolen. It said there had been reports of a stolen vehicle with drugs and guns, but it does not say any were actually found of if the SUV was found to be stolen. Is there another report somewhere that you read? I's like to see it or a follow-up story here.

Richmond Co. Citizen
1
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Richmond Co. Citizen 12/15/08 - 09:52 am
0
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I agree with"As It Is on Mon

I agree with"As It Is on Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:43 AM" , well said.

CS
0
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CS 12/15/08 - 09:53 am
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Just for the record, this

Just for the record, this wasn't a black white issue, did you ever stop to think that the deputies involved in this incident are actually minority deputies? No of course not, no one knows the identities of the deputies involved except those with the RCSO, but everyone automatically assumes that it was white deputies that had to protect themselves from a 3500lbs bullet coming at them. All this talk about shooting out tires blah blah blah, when you go through the academy you're trained to STOP THE THREAT and to use the force necessary to do so. I applaud these officers....they're the ones that have to go home at the end of the shift. If someone was trying to run me down, guess what, I'd do the exact same thing. GOOD JOB RCSO!!!

PTHS225
1
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PTHS225 12/15/08 - 09:56 am
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Do any of y'all know what

Do any of y'all know what time the press conference will be held and if it will be broadcast live?

lostmymind
0
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lostmymind 12/15/08 - 09:57 am
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"anytime a brotha encounters

"anytime a brotha encounters law enforcement, HIS life is in danger"

It seems to me that if the "brotha" was indeed innocent, he would not have tried to get away by ramming HIS SUV into the police cars. Since he did, I tend to believe that maybe this was not his SUV since he had no regard for his personal safety, or the condition of his SUV. Of the little facts that are here; I would have to say that he was guilty of something if he tried to get away. Innocent people don't run away from the cops, they stop when told to and generally abide by the law!

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 09:59 am
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Hmmmm CBBP why do you assume

Hmmmm CBBP why do you assume I have a criminal record LOL... is it because that's your mentality? I don't so now you know all black people don't have records, do you? And I was saying (in so many words) I'm hoping that they do FIND drugs and guns so their case can be strengthen and the shooting can be solidified, if you would have just comprehend a little more, and that if they didn't then OH BOY.

Bacon Grease
331
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Bacon Grease 12/15/08 - 10:04 am
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Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

MrsD
0
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MrsD 12/15/08 - 10:08 am
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Our police officers are

Our police officers are damned if they do something, and damned if they don't... Someone will complain either way.

MeinAugusta2
39
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MeinAugusta2 12/15/08 - 10:10 am
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MrsD - Sadly enough, truer

MrsD - Sadly enough, truer words were never spoken. They can't win no matter what they do.

gagirl40
142
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gagirl40 12/15/08 - 10:18 am
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Spdermn78--what does politics

Spdermn78--what does politics have to do with this? I am a liberal democrat and I too think the police did the only thing they could! This isn't political, it's law and order! Bottom line, had the young man who was shot simply stopped, answered questions and had no drugs or guns on him then he would have gone free. PERIOD! And if he did in fact have drugs and guns in his car (which is illegal) then he would have been arrested, hand cuffed and taken to jail, he chose his own punishment as everyone knows cops shoot to kill when they are threatened with deadly force. And yes, a 3500 pound vehicle in the hands of a criminal trying to flee is in fact a very large deadly weapon! And PAW, you are wrong, if a white man in a white neighborhood who is believed to have guns in his car, rams police cars they will shoot them to stop them also! It's about the police officers safety, not the color of the drivers skin!

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 12/15/08 - 10:30 am
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The people who were rioting

The people who were rioting should be dropped from public housing and run out of town. They are pure trash. support www.hongkongaugustaga.org

gagirl40
142
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gagirl40 12/15/08 - 10:35 am
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Usnvet...pick pocketing isn't

Usnvet...pick pocketing isn't a death penalty crime either, but if a pick pocket gets caught by the police and decides to pull a weapon on the police who catch him, then what? He turned it into a death penalty crime because the police have every right to protect themselves! When this man went from being a suspect of carrying drugs and guns to using his car as a weapon against police officers, he changed his offense and it's punishment. I am sad for this man's friends and family, but I would have been more sad had he killed a police officer in the line of duty. At some point we have to accept responsibility for our actions. Had he been innocent would he have run? And ask yourself, who gave the cops the tip he had guns and drugs in the first place?

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 10:51 am
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President Bush dodging those

President Bush dodging those two shoes now that was funny, David Letterman is going to have to update his top 10 list, LOL.

lucki_ducki02
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lucki_ducki02 12/15/08 - 10:58 am
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Now i wont say that either

Now i wont say that either side was right but what i can say is that REGARDLESS of who the victim was he should not have rammed the police. he used his vehicle as a weapon and the police reacted the way they are trained to do. under this day and time you have to take everything seriously. including anonymous tips. now wether he was guilty or not his actions spoke many volumes. please just step back and let the law do its job. yall are just interfering and getting in the way. everything will come out in the end. by staying in the way the law cant solve this and get the truth.

devilishlymad67
0
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devilishlymad67 12/15/08 - 11:02 am
0
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Maybe this will teach some

Maybe this will teach some fool somewhere that lawlessness will NOT prevail. Criminals will be stopped by any and all means necessary. Justice will prevail and criminals will die if need be. It isn't race. It is protection. If this man was indead "innocent" and decided to run when he had nothing to hide, then it is possible he was to stupid to live! Get real innocent people have nothing to hide. Guilty people scurry like cockroaches when the lights come on.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 11:10 am
0
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I added another 100 clear

I added another 100 clear lights to my christmas tree yesterday, it's brighter and fuller.

Newsreader
11
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Newsreader 12/15/08 - 11:12 am
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This is truly a sad

This is truly a sad situation. If "anytime a brotha encounters law enforcement, HIS life is in danger", then it would also hold true that the law enforcement personnel are also in danger. Who is more fearful, the "brotha" or the cop? Should the cop not be afraid that the "brotha" will use deadly force to defend himself? There seems to be no way out for either one of these people. Unfortunately, the good cops are not distiguishable from the bad cops that caused the fear in the young people. Likewise the cops can not tell the innocent "brotha" from the Thugs. So everyone becomes suspicious of everyone else and we have a terrible situation. This is how innocent people become causalities. In fact it is a self perpetuating problem that the good "brothas" and the good cops get pulled into, because all of their partners and friends tell them to watch out for these type of people. Where will it all end. This downward spiral is just going to get worse and no one is going to be safe. I really do not see it as race issue, but a human rights issue. It probably stems more from economic status than race.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 11:13 am
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Let me go back and look at

Let me go back and look at President Bush DODGE those two shoes ROFL.... I can't wait to see David Letterman tonight or this week as he updates his TOP TEN... Bush got some quick reflexes.

GnipGnop1
2
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GnipGnop1 12/15/08 - 11:13 am
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What does any of that have to

What does any of that have to do with this article jackfruit?

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 11:15 am
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Nothing really LOL... just

Nothing really LOL... just threw that in here...

GnipGnop1
2
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GnipGnop1 12/15/08 - 11:17 am
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I would think that the

I would think that the innocent "brotha" would be the one that doesn't try to ram a police cruiser with his car. As far as the police are concerned, when they tell you to stop you are guilty until they complete their investigation and either ticket, arrest or release you. When ordered by a law enforcement officer to halt, stop, get on your knees, put your hands up or any other commands like that, you should obey those commands. It's not rocket science.

MIZ UNDERSTOOD
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MIZ UNDERSTOOD 12/15/08 - 11:21 am
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@

@ Jackfruitpaper883....LMAO!!!....I thought I was the only one who found that Hilarious. Bush just doesnt get any respect anymore. On this Issue, I cant believe how many people are passing judgement and not knowing what actually happened and what the case is. I have heard so many different stories about what happened I dont know what to believe. So instead I save my judgement and go on about my daily duties of working and worrying about my whats going on in my family and my life. I suggest some of you daytime "Soap Watchers" get off the blog sites and do the same. Get off ur "a*#" and get you a job. Find something to do instead of worrying about other peoples business. Half of you didnt know this man or havent even been threw the area where it happened. You havent lived in poverty all of your life so you dont know how these people feel, you werent there to know exactly what happened, you dont know the peole involved, so save the drama and your comments for someone who really gives a f*$k. Thank You and have a great day! Obama 08! Yes We Can!

Newsreader
11
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Newsreader 12/15/08 - 11:23 am
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Also what about the innocent

Also what about the innocent people that live in that neighborhood. I fear that someone's father or grandmother will need medical attention, but the firemen and emts will be afraid to respond to help. The sherrif's office will delay the medical help until they can secure the scene to protect the welfare and safety of the responders. This would really be a tradegy. Your loved one needs help and the people that are trained and given the responsibility to assist are not willing to respond due to fear, what the heck are you suppose do. Through that love one in the car and drive like a panicked stock car driver and get them to the hospital. What if then the cops try to stop your car. This problem just gets worse. Causalities mount and no one is safe. Like I said the downward spiral has no bottom. Just despair. I do not have the answers. But I know that God has not forgotten the people that live in Cherry Tree. If they cry out to Him in prayer, then he will provide for them. The same goes for the law enforcement officers. God does know the answers. He wrote two books on the subject. They are called the Old Testiment and the New Testiment. We all need to spend more time with His word.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/15/08 - 11:25 am
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Nothing new here. You could

Nothing new here. You could have looked by the screen names, and you know where you stand. The truth is, blacks aren't going to get support from PTHS, Pat, Christian and the usual cadre of racist, no matter to circumstances. Everyday and every subject they will find a way to put down blacks. On behalf of the black community,go to.......

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 11:25 am
0
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Nope and in most cases

Nope and in most cases REGARDLESS of race, men/women who do what he did usually have this type of outcome, he made it worse by his actions.

GnipGnop1
2
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GnipGnop1 12/15/08 - 11:28 am
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Wow miz you sure paint with a

Wow miz you sure paint with a broad brush. I just happen to be employed (same job for 20 years). I am on vacation. I am from Augusta and know the area well. I sometimes drive right by Cherry Tree when I commute to and from work. One doesn't have to live in poverty to understand the thug life. I would think if you have lived in poverty you would feel more compassion for the people that live in Cherry Tree that just want to feel safe in their homes. That don't want drug dealers and prostitutes roaming their housing area at night. That feel like they have to watch their every move for fear of a drive by shooting or robbery. Those are the real victims in all of this.

I_Wear_Lipstick_2
0
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I_Wear_Lipstick_2 12/15/08 - 11:29 am
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RCR - on behalf of the white

RCR - on behalf of the white community, shut up.

Newsreader
11
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Newsreader 12/15/08 - 11:33 am
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Finally, the residents have

Finally, the residents have the right to a peaceful protest. They are allowed to disagree with the actions of the law enforcement officers. They deserve to have their commissioner involved in the investigation to ensure their interest are protected. Those of us who life outside the neighborhood also have a concern that the police use the right amount of force and do not disregard the rights of all invloved including citizens not present at the scene. However, the chaos, fires, assualt, and battery that followed where not necessary. Again my fear is for the innocent young and old or otherwise unable to defend themselves and this mob mentality could cause them harm. The neighborhood leaders should step forward and remind all that these people need our assistance, respect, and protection.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 12/15/08 - 11:33 am
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SNL is going to have a FIELD

SNL is going to have a FIELD day... OMG, OMG I can't stop laughing.

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