Shooter apparently 'uninvited' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Shooter apparently 'uninvited'

November 19, 2002

Tift Co. - An abandoned field in a usually quiet rural Tift County farming community was the site of a shooting spree late Saturday night.

"Stuff like that doesn't happen in Tifton that often, weird to hear about it here," Kara Lee Bailey said. 

Witnesses say 17-year-old James Robert Sanderson showed up at a bonfire party uninvited. 21 year-old Matthew Bowen, was throwing the party on his grandmother's land. He asked Sanderson to leave.

Sanderson went to his car, got a .22 pistol, and started shooting. Bowen was hit seven times. He's hospitalized. Two men and a woman were also shot as they ran. They're out of the hospital and recovering.

For some who know Sanderson, the described shooting rampage is shocking but not a total surprise.

"He's been picked on a lot I could see where he could do something like this," fellow Tift County student Christie Walker said.

Sanderson's mother turned him in when he came home and told her what had happened. Though she says she's still not sure what led to the shooting, she knows her son is a good kid.

Sanderson remains in the Tift County Jail. When Sanderson gets a lawyer, he will likely ask for bond.

posted at 5:30 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com