AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - People in an Americus neighborhood where five people were shot, two fatally last night, say sports gambling and poker often took place where the shooting happened. The GBI would not confirm that gambling took place in the house, but neighbors say this was a known gambling spot.
Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith said, "People lose focus on stuff, and people have lost lives. That's what's so tragic. Right here at Christmas time. It's a bad thing to happen."
Neighbors say one of the victims died in a front yard, and the other died just around the corner after running for help. No details on what led to the shooting, but a sadness, and even fear, has overtaken some residents on Price Street.
Police tape blocked off much of Price Street and a nearby middle school for most of the day; a scene that attracted quite a crowd Monday night.
"More people started to accumulate around. Other people start yelling out my cousin was in there. My friend is in there," said neighbor Louis Stewart.
Stewart lives right next door to what turned in to a major crime scene and heard multiple gun shots. "Our initial investigation revealed that five people were shot, two people of which were deceased," said GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Walsingham.
Neighbors say this house has been a spot known for sports betting and gambling, and crowds would sometimes gather.
"He have his friends over for sports you know watching football or basketball pretty much," said Stewart.
But it has never lead to anything of this magnitude. "Maybe a little yelling going on you know about the sports game. Maybe getting excited about what happened in the game other than that nothing like this has ever taken place," said Stewart.
The GBI would not confirm any of these details, but they were on scene all day gathering evidence and conducting interviews.. trying to figure out how these 5 people knew each other, and how things could have escalated so violently.
"We have actually interviewed both victims, neighbors, and other parties that have been involved, that we think were involved in this shooting," said Walsingham.
For now, the shooting remains a big mystery, and source of fear for those closest to it. "Stuff like that it just terrifies you. To happen this close to your house. Right next door," said Stewart.
Walsingham said they were actually trying to contact one of the brothers of a dead victim, to ask him what he might know.
Those details, and many more, have not been made known to us yet, but we will relay them as we get them.