Dougherty Co. coroner concerned about black on black crime

Updated: May. 15, 2020 at 11:45 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler is very concerned about the number of violent crimes in Albany lately. Especially the gun violence, that, for the most part, he said have been black on black crimes.

Fowler said something has to be done to stop deadly gunfire in the community.

Last week, a 16-year-old teen was killed and three friends wounded in a drive-by shooting in Albany.

This week, a 40-year-old father and grandfather was gunned down in another drive-by attack.

Police have made arrests in both shootings.

“And to make it so bad, it’s black on black crime. And it seems like nobody is really saying anything about it. Just another black going to jail, another black gone to the grave. Something needs to be said. Something needs to be done,” said Fowler.

It’s not only murder, recently a woman was wounded when bullets were fired into her home.

Two men were caught on surveillance video shooting at a car with women and children trying to get away from them, again, black on black crime.

"Shooting up the cars, shooting up one mother’s house, killing one another, it just doesn’t make sense,” Fowler said.

“I want to acknowledge we are having some gang on gang crimes,” Greg Edwards, the district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit.

Edwards said the coronavirus pandemic could be partly to the blame for the surge of violence.

“A lot of the instigation of these particular crimes has come over social media. I think the fact that people are sheltering in place and communicating more in this method is causing them to want to act out,” explained Edwards.

Fowler said national eyes are on Albany right now because it was one of the first coronavirus hotspots. He said now, with many people in Albany dying and sick from the virus, out of work, some hungry, that senseless gun violence hurts the city even more.

“Only thing you did is create another problem for two families. One family has got to now start going to court to deal with you. Then another person gonig to the grave with their loved ones. It just don’t make sense,” said Fowler.

Albany police said these shootings are not random.

Edwards said most involve teenagers and high caliber weapons.

Both Fowler and Edwards are asking the people of Albany to put the guns down and stop the violence.

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