Angry crowd confronts police at housing project shooting scene

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 5:36 PM
Last updated 11:16 PM
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A loud and angry crowd numbering several hundred 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.

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A black SUV belonging to a man who was shot Sunday while fleeing police is towed at the intersection of 15th Street and Carver Drive.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
A black SUV belonging to a man who was shot Sunday while fleeing police is towed at the intersection of 15th Street and Carver Drive.

Many in the crowd told Chronicle reporters at the scene that the suspect had been killed, but the Richmond County coroner said at 7:15 p.m. that his office had not been notified. The Medical College of Georgia Hospital trauma unit had no deaths to report, he said.

Extra deputies were called in to handle crowd control and Chronicle reporters at the scene said they heard gunfire in the neighborhood beginning about 6:15 p.m.

Sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles issued the following statement e-mailed to Augusta news organizatons about 8:30 p.m.

"At 4:21 p.m. today, two officers from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a shooting incident, in which one man was shot by the officers on Carver Drive near its intersection with 15th Street.

"The investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The sheriff intends to provide a briefing on the incident sometime tomorrow, after all of the facts have been obtained ...

"For information concerning the identity and condition of the suspect, or any other information, refer to the GBI," his statement read.

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

Augusta City Commissioner Corey Johnson, whose district includes Cherry Tree Crossing, said Sunday night he’s spoken to a deputy and a member of the community, and he’s waiting for more information.

He said he was told the Sheriff’s Office got a tip that a stolen, black SUV in the area was carrying drugs and guns. Police found the Chevy SUV and boxed it in, parking one police car in front and one behind.

He 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, and the man is now in critical condition.

Mr. Johnson said there was not a child in the vehicle, although several in Sunday crowd seemed to think there was.

Mr. Johnson said he understands the feelings of the public housing complex residents, but when the driver made a 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.”

Mr. Johnson said rioting won’t solve anything.

“That’s not the answer,” he said. “The riot is not the answer. It’s not gonna’ help get to the bottom of the situation.”

Large crowds gathered near Carver Street after news spread of the shooting, and many were throwing rocks and bottles at the police, reporters at the scene said.

In an interview at the Sheriff's Office, GBI Agent Pat Morgan told The Chronicle about 6:50 p.m. that he had reviewed the shooting scene and was preparing to interview witnesses.

"This is my first time working a shooting in Richmond County like that. I've never seen it like this," he said when asked about the crowd.

Police units were pulling back from the area after 7 p.m. to avoid confrontations that would continue to provoke the crowd, a supervisor said.

Reporters said there was much smoke in the area at 8 p.m., believed to be coming from fires set in trash dumpsters.

Sheriff's Lt. Peebles said about 30 units responded to the scene after the shooting. After leaving the scene at about 6:40 p.m., he said police returned to the area about an hour later when firefighters were attacked with rocks and bottles.

"When we left they started setting cars on fire; setting dumpsters on fire," Lt. Peebles said. "So we are back down there and have it under high-intensity patrol."

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aaa
2
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aaa 12/14/08 - 05:48 pm
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Here we go again.

Here we go again.

sweetness22
0
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sweetness22 12/14/08 - 05:49 pm
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ok

ok

142
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Dan White 12/14/08 - 05:56 pm
0
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Today a shooting in the

Today a shooting in the ghetto downtown. Tomorrow another scandal in the Richmond County School System. Can't wait to see what is going to happen in the RCCS on the last week before Christmas break. Better than a soap opera.

apex24
0
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apex24 12/14/08 - 06:07 pm
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Just saw it on News 6 and as

Just saw it on News 6 and as usual the blacks were accusing Richmond County of shooting the criminal without cause. Amazing!!!!!!

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
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BakersfieldCityLimits 12/14/08 - 06:07 pm
0
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Please make sure that you all

Please make sure that you all make snap judement without ANY facts. SO typical of a our public these days.

owensjef2
0
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owensjef2 12/14/08 - 06:10 pm
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What with all the shooting???

What with all the shooting???

PTHS225
1
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PTHS225 12/14/08 - 06:53 pm
0
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D1216 - That is how Obama got

D1216 - That is how Obama got elected. ;-)

gnumbgnuts
0
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gnumbgnuts 12/14/08 - 07:20 pm
0
0
Just spray into the crowd. F

Just spray into the crowd. F 'em. Give 'em what they deserve.

gogbd
0
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gogbd 12/14/08 - 07:21 pm
0
0
Happy Holidays Tis the Season

Happy Holidays Tis the Season

juliebac
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juliebac 12/14/08 - 07:22 pm
0
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Not knowing all the facts, I

Not knowing all the facts, I would still say that the crowd should not have thrown things at the officers...someone could have gotten hurt, and it would have been the fault of the crowd, not the officers...the public needs to let the officers do their job and not try to interfere...wouldn't that be obstruction?

CoastalDawg
125
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CoastalDawg 12/14/08 - 07:25 pm
0
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"a suspect fleeing officers"

"a suspect fleeing officers" is the only clue you need to know as to why a shooting took place. If the suspect, whatever the charge, is indeed innocent then it was his responsibility and common sense (is there such a thing any more?) would dictate that he stop and settle the matter in court. PTHS you are EXACTLY correct - making snap judgments based on innuendos, almost promises, and a racial card (even though he isn't actually black) won him the election. Don't tell me any differently - I KNOW who voted at polls of which I have first hand knowledge and I KNOW that people who had never bothered to vote before and people too sick to know that they were even there "voted". But back to this shooting - it will be interesting to know for what reason the police were trying to stop the man but the above quote says it all - he was fleeing from the police, putting HIS life and those in his path in danger.

sneakypete
0
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sneakypete 12/14/08 - 07:27 pm
0
0
Hold ur judgement until

Hold ur judgement until justadumb[filtered word] gets here to splain it to us. Or maybe that was him running.....nah, couldn't be...

MasterPsych
0
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MasterPsych 12/14/08 - 07:27 pm
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0
What does Obama have to do

What does Obama have to do with this??

iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 12/14/08 - 07:30 pm
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They'll take the free

They'll take the free housing,utilities,medical services,pocket money programs,school meals,etc but don't expect them to abide by the law.

edst4
0
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edst4 12/14/08 - 07:30 pm
0
0
No No No everybody has it

No No No everybody has it wrong, they are upset due to the fact that O.J. is in prison, gezzz folks lets get the facts right

gogbd
0
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gogbd 12/14/08 - 07:36 pm
0
0
I know, the man fleeing from

I know, the man fleeing from the police must have been going to a prayer meeting and did not want to be late. Shame on those underpaid sheriffs deputies for slowing him down

PTHS225
1
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PTHS225 12/14/08 - 07:37 pm
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I'm listening to the scanner,

I'm listening to the scanner, the angry mobs are lighting fires, busting out windows and shooting at any police cars that drive by ... SWAT teams are inbound.

PTHS225
1
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PTHS225 12/14/08 - 07:38 pm
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Oh yeah, they attack the

Oh yeah, they attack the firemen too when they show up to put out the fires..... Helter Skelter!

gogbd
0
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gogbd 12/14/08 - 07:39 pm
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Those same idiots who were

Those same idiots who were assaulting the police will most likely need them one day. In the ghetto, probably sooner than most think.

fred1217
4
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fred1217 12/14/08 - 07:40 pm
0
0
iletuknow, What does Wall

iletuknow, What does Wall Street Executives have to do with this????

Opinionated1234
0
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Opinionated1234 12/14/08 - 07:40 pm
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MasterPsych, I'm sitting here

MasterPsych, I'm sitting here thinking that same thing. People are so stupid these days and will say the most off the wall things. Obama wasn't just elected by the african-american vote, but votes also cast by white-americans, asian-americans, hispanic-americans (You get my point). And he's presidentcy is not going to be confined to the people that voted for him, he's going to be the president for all races. Whether you like it or not!

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 12/14/08 - 07:49 pm
0
0
"Police units were pulling

"Police units were pulling back from the area after 7 p.m. to avoid confrontations that would continue to provoke the crowd, a supervisor said." What BS.... if they want to get all up in police business and threaten the safety of officers and firefighters then, give them what they are asking for, a cap in the rear, not pulling back not to upset the animals!!!! Mostly scum live in that hood anyway!!!!!! Violence is the only way these people know how to respond to anything, so violence is what is needed to control the animals!!!!!! Bunch of idiots... maybe we will get lucky and the crowd will turn on each other and take out some more of the trash!!!!!!

gogbd
0
Points
gogbd 12/14/08 - 07:50 pm
0
0
Every one is talking about

Every one is talking about Obama. Was he the one in the suv?

edst4
0
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edst4 12/14/08 - 07:52 pm
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0
O.J was in the car folks

O.J was in the car folks

gogbd
0
Points
gogbd 12/14/08 - 07:55 pm
0
0
Why burn your own house and

Why burn your own house and stuff to riot? Sounds crazy. But then again the taxpayers will pay for replacing everything, not the housing project leeches.

Waymore
114
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Waymore 12/14/08 - 07:57 pm
0
0
Where are the angry crowds

Where are the angry crowds protesting the 16 year old that was shot at a club early this morning?

edst4
0
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edst4 12/14/08 - 07:59 pm
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Juliebac do you really think

Juliebac do you really think the govt free loaders care about the police and breaking laws ahhh no. I say shoot them all of them with tear gas rubber bullets bring he dogs in. Bring in Fire trucks and hose them down. They will stop after that jet of water blows them down the street like rag dolls.

iluvme
0
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iluvme 12/14/08 - 08:00 pm
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First of all...I was born and

First of all...I was born and raised in Sunset Homes which is now Cherry Tree Crossing. How DARE you say that all of the residents there are scum! I graduated from high school, went to college, got a degree and am now educating young minds from that very neigborhood...Am I scum to? I know the young man thats was BRUTALLY murdered by the Richmond County Police Officers! YES!! MURDERED!! And what they are not telling you is that they almost shot a baby also!! I was visiting my godmother and saw EVERYTHING!!! HE WAS MURDERED!!! Suppose some kids were outside playing? Suppose someone was walking from the store while the POLICE not the VICTIM was shooting. I know the young mans family very well and it is a shame that he has been taken away from his children!!! HE WAS A FATHER!! Taken away from his children during the holidays!

edst4
0
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edst4 12/14/08 - 08:01 pm
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Because waymore it was a

Because waymore it was a black on black crime they dont care. If they kill each other. But let a white person do something. You will have the almighty Rev Sharptop and Jesse Jacksons crooked bribe taking money son in town.

Jillian
2
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Jillian 12/14/08 - 08:04 pm
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Annie get your guns!! So

Annie get your guns!! So much for a peaceful holiday.

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