Tifton city leaders seek answers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tifton city leaders seek answers

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Bullet holes left in buildings close to Chevron gas station on South Central Avenue Bullet holes left in buildings close to Chevron gas station on South Central Avenue
Intersection of last weeks murder Intersection of last weeks murder
Officers on the scene of 3rd Ave. and Short St. at murder crime scene Officers on the scene of 3rd Ave. and Short St. at murder crime scene
Melissa Chevers, Tift County Commissioner Melissa Chevers, Tift County Commissioner
Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, Tift County Sheriff's Department Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, Tift County Sheriff's Department
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TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

The GBI continues to investigate a murder last week in Tift County, but so far they've made no arrests.

There was another broad daylight shooting nearby right before that murder, and people are worried. Community leaders want the public to come together to end violence.

The bullet holes in the outside wall a Chevron gas station are reminders of last week's shootings. Bullets struck the Chevron on South Central Avenue along with neighboring buildings. About an hour and a half later, a man was gunned down at the corner of 3rd avenue and Short street.

While law enforcement continues searching for the gunmen, community leaders are reaching out to the public for help to curb future violence.

"We have to get to the root of it. Why? Why do our young people feel that they need to carry a gun? Why do our young people feel that there's a need to kill each other," said Tift County Commissioner Melissa Chevers.

Some argue south Tifton is more prone to violence because of economic issues.

"South Tifton has lack of a lot of things. But just because there's a lack of, it doesn't mean that you go out and take a life," Chevers said.

Chevers and Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough are asking the public to come forward with information on any criminal activity, and hope to see the community work together to solve ongoing crime issues.

"It's horrible, it's damaging to our society and especially the good, honest, decent people that live down there that are so scared they're afraid to come out of their houses," said Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, Tift County Sheriff's Department. "And this is 2013. We shouldn't be living like that."

One south Tifton resident said he's tired of being afraid of the violence.

"Yes, we get frightened of it, but we're not running from it. Because we have to take a stand at some point, not be driven back into our houses and afraid to come out," said Roosevelt Russell.

Russell said young people should learn to use their words instead of reaching for a weapon.

Chevers and Scarbrough said their doors are always open to anyone wanting to voice their concerns or suggestions.

Law enforcers said Friday's murder may be drug related. Officials believe churches may hold the key to preventing criminal activity. They also said widespread community involvement is essential to make neighborhoods safer.

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