BLAKELY, Ga. (WDHN) — As people were leaving North Church Street in Blakely after hanging out at the nightclubs. People were caught off guard when the sound of gunfire rang through the air.
“We had a very unfortunate shooting incident,” Mayor of Blakely, Travis Wimbush said.
Police heard these gunshots from a couple of streets away and quickly arrived on the scene. When they arrived they found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds.
Leaving behind blood stains on a driveway.
One of the victims, Eric Eafford, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the LifeBrite emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.
After further investigation, they discovered there were more victims who had been shot
“We started learning of additional victims,” Blakely Police Chief, Will Caudill said. “The total that we know of now is 7 to include the decedent.”
Monday afternoon, Blakely police arrested Jataveous James and later that day arrested Javen Ransom as a suspect in the shooting.
Then Monday evening, Blakely police were able to arrest a third suspect Joshuah Burden, but Chief Caudill says more arrests may be upcoming.
“There may be charges filed on additional people as well,” Chief Caudill said.
James, Ransom, and Burden are currently facing multiple charges of aggravated assault and could see a heftier charge from the district attorney’s office for the alleged murder of Eafford.
All three are currently being held in the Early County Jail.
There has been a rise in the number of shootings nationwide and in Blakely, they have seen several shootings where other people were caught in the crossfire. The mayor says they are starting to attack this rise in gun violence.
“We are increasing are police presence the best that we can with staffing and again we are looking towards efforts at building relationships with the community,” Mayor Wimbush said. “We don’t typically have these sort of incidents.”
And says that times are changing in the way that people disagree.
“We have a lot of younger people, who really shouldn’t legally or lawfully have guns,” Mayor Wimbush said. “That gets into situations instead of what we used to do and fight and then leave it alone, but instead of them fighting they are using the guns as far as to say they are reacting with guns instead of fighting.”
Chief Caudill says that they are very grateful that people came by the station and provided the information that led them to the arrests.