Parents and District Attorney concerned after Monday shootings - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Parents and District Attorney concerned after Monday shootings

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As of Monday night, there were still no charges filed for a pair of shootings on South Albany streets. Police tell us they are still questioning one suspect they have in custody.

It was a violent afternoon with two shootings and three victims within a matter of minutes. Authorities say it's gang-related.

It started just after 12:30 at 1301 South McKinley where Trevor Stevens got a shotgun blast to the abdomen during a drive-by shooting. Police say the suspects were in a Gray Cadillac. Moments later, Courtney Turner and Devonte Colvin were shot at South McKinley and Gordon Avenue by someone driving a white Cadillac Escalade. All three victims were taken to the hospital and survived.

Between Monday's violence and a gang-related shooting last week, the gang unit and APD investigators are busy.

"I wouldn't say that it's more activity than normal. We stay in business 24 hours a day and we work those 24 hours but it is a concern for us," said Sgt. Tony Moore with APD's gang unit.

"Everything is still under investigation, active investigation. What we're doing now is trying to piece everything together and get the full story," said Detective Schemika Foster.

Monday's shootings stem from a fight Sunday night. Stevens underwent surgery Monday afternoon and was hospitalized in good condition at last check. The other two victims have been released.

This is the second time in less than a week that gang violence erupted steps away from Albany schools filled with students.  It's enough to make parents both angry and afraid.

It was a little after 3 in the afternoon when Dougherty County middle-schoolers left class for the day. But just a few hours before, three shooting victims got a real and tough lesson in gang activity.

"It's sad. It's really sad," said parent Courtney Lovett.

Both Monroe Comprehensive High School and Southside Middle were placed on lockdown as police investigated the violence nearby. "It scares me. It scares me," said parent Rita Key.

Key has two reasons to be scared.  She has a 14-year-old at Southside. "And I have another child at Monroe and it's all so close together," said Key.

"Number one, it really distresses me to hear these things. We want to keep our community safe," said Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards.

Edwards says gangs threaten that feeling of safety in Albany. "Gangs revolve around what we call the three R's. That's respect, reputation and retaliation," said Edwards.

As gang members use violence to gain those three R's it can have a result--death. "That seems to be their whole outlook. It doesn't matter. That's why gangs are dangerous and we have to deal with them swiftly and as effectively as possible," said Edwards. Authorities are keeping a close eye on all the past and recent activity.

"All of these things go hand in hand and we're believing that some of these events spurred from earlier events that we have already documented," said Edwards.

Parents just hope it all stops and it doesn't continue to happen near their children's schools. "They protect them very well on the inside. But I know there's only so much they can do once they get out," said Key.

That's why Key arrives early each day to make sure her kids don't have to wait even a minute.

Greg Edwards says it will take the whole community to fight this gang problem and he urges anyone who sees anything suspicious to let them know. They'll come out and investigate. That's how they've gotten several past suspects into custody.  

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