Residents want action after Carver shooting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Residents want action after Carver shooting

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police continue to question witnesses to a possible gang shooting on Albany's south side. They still haven't charged anyone in the shooting last night outside Carver Pool.

The victim, 23-year old Donald Winchester, is home and doing well after being shot once in the side. Neighbors say this is the third shooting in their neighborhood in the last two weeks. They believe it's gang-related, and they want gang activity stopped.

The city shut down Carver Pool until Sunday as police sort out exactly what happened here as the pool was closing Tuesday night. Ironically, recreation officials had extended the hours this year at Carver Pool to 7:00 PM to give kids in the neighborhood more time to enjoy the pool and stay out of trouble.

They don't want one incident to spoil what neighbors consider a valuable resource.

Beverly Winchester is still trying to make sense of what happened to send her son Donald running through the front door of her home, shot once in the side in the parking lot at Carver Pool. "It didn't make no sense, little kids out here and they're shooting like that,"

Both she and neighbors are angry and upset. "I believe it is gang related and they need to stop.

"I couldn't sleep at all last night because I was scared. This is the second, maybe third time something's gone on over here, it's got me seriously thinking about moving," said Rosa Jones.

About 40 neighborhood kids 18 and younger turn up daily for the summer sports programs at the Carver Community Center. One of the goals of these summer camps is to teach kids how to be career oriented, bringing in speakers to give them positive reinforcement to do their best and avoid gang activity.

"We work closely with APD and Dougherty County and the Drug unit we bring them in and make the kids aware what can happen,"  said Recreation and Parks Director Suzanne Davis. "If they do fall into an element that may not be the best.

Neighbors say these programs are important, but they also need a greater police presence in their neighborhood to keep gangs out.

"We can't do it all, we need help, we want it to be safe, we've got grand kids, she has grand kids over here," said Jones.

Kids they want to make sure are safe in their own neighborhood.

City Commissioner Morris Gurr represents this neighborhood and regularly attends neighborhood watch meetings. He said neighbors continue to ask for a greater police presence. He also told me police are aware of the request because an officer is typically present at the neighborhood watch meetings.

Albany Police say they need the community's help to stop this type of crime. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers at 436-TIPS.

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