Slaying victim is 4th in week

Richmond County homicide investigators went into Memorial Day weekend weary after a six-day stretch in which four people were killed.

The latest slaying was discovered early Friday when the body of Chad Shirey, 25, was found in a white Chevrolet Caprice near his home. Police believe someone driving a tan or beige SUV followed him to his driveway and fired into his car window.

His death is the eighth in the county this year.

When asked about the sudden increase, Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said there is typically no rhyme or reason why homicides happen when they do. Most are crimes of anger or passion between acquaintances. They can come in waves or sometimes not happen for months, he said.

"You can't predict murders," Lt. Peebles said. "They just come and go like that."

The recent violence began May 16 when 20-year-old Tremayne Markis Cobbs was fatally shot and two others wounded at Econo Lodge in the 2000 block of Gordon Highway. Witnesses said the men were arguing when more than 10 bullets were fired into a silver Chevrolet Suburban. The shooter is believed to be Nicholas Nathaniel Johnson, 20, of the 3100 block of Bellmeade Drive, who is still at large.

On Wednesday, Jesse Haynes, 42, and Rodney Crane, 27, were found stabbed to death at Glenwood II Apartments on Lumpkin Road.

Joshua Bernard Ferguson, 52, was arrested after police followed a trail of blood from the scene to a nearby apartment. He is charged with two counts of murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. Police said he is keeping tight-lipped about what happened Wednesday.

Mr. Ferguson was on parole for the 1984 fatal stabbing of a man outside a nightclub.

Anyone with information on suspects in these cases is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080 or (706) 821-1020.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.