Residents speak on gun violence in Albany after recent Albany Mall shooting

Albany Mall visitors believe more needs to be done to keep people safe.
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 6:26 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Law enforcement in three South Georgia communities are dealing with gunfire in public places. On Saturday, a woman was shot in Georgia Veterans State Park in Crisp County, shots were fired at the Fire Ant Festival in Turner County and shots were fired outside the Albany Mall.

Many people WALB News 10 spoke with on Sunday said they have lived in Albany for a long time and haven’t seen this activity before. They believe more needs to be done to keep people safe.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s unprecedented. It just stems with the laws we have in place for the youth,” George Savage, a Dawson resident, said.

Gun violence can happen anywhere, but when gunfire happens near families in public, it causes serious concern.

“I think that I don’t like the point that the youth are able to get to guns as easy as it is. I think the gun laws need to change, because once the gun laws did change, more youth have felt like that ‘hey that law is for me, to.’ Being able to tote around these guns,” Patricia James, an Albany resident, said.

Albany police said a fight started inside near an exit just after noon Saturday, then spilled into the parking lot. They say one person grabbed a gun from a car and fired shots. Fortunately, no one was shot.

“Parents have no control, and they get out here and they merge with their friends and their influences. And then you have social media, and various other things that keep them astray from the morals and beliefs that the family wants them to be raised by,” Savage said.

James said it won’t keep her from going to the Albany Mall, but she and others want accountability.

“Like I said, I never seen it at the mall. And it’s not going to deter me from coming to the mall. But it does have me being cautious while I’m here, and I’m a resident here, so I will continue to support our businesses,” she said.

Albany City Commissioner Ward 4 Chad Warbington said for the incident to go straight to gun violence, “obviously the people that were involved could of been killed or seriously injured.”

“As well as numerous innocent bystanders who could have been injured by this incident,” Warbington added.

An Albany Mall employee who didn’t want to go on camera told WALB he believes there should be metal detectors to enter the mall as they have at airports.