Richmond Co. Sheriff’s Candidate, “Gino Rock” responds to downtown Augusta shooting

AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Eugene “Gino Rock” Brantley, candidate for Sheriff of Augusta Richmond County, has issued a statement regarding the gunman who opened fire into a crowd in downtown Augusta.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the deputies who were on the scene and acted swiftly to protect the public. My thoughts are with those affected by this senseless act of violence, and I sincerely hope for the safety and well-being of everyone involved.  This is a crucial time. We are at the start of summer, a period historically associated with a rise in crime. The recent events underscore the urgent need for change in our approach to public safety.” Brantley said. It’s distressing that despite proactive measures and discussions, we still face such tragedies.”

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Brantley also noted that over 150 lives have been lost to violence in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) over the past two years, underscoring the need for immediate action.

The gunman opened fire hours after the First Friday event, which regularly draws large crowds downtown.

Local business owner Sean Wight commented, “I feel like downtown Augusta as a destination is a safe place with a lower crime rate than most city’s our size, however when there are known events that draw large crowds such as first Friday or other late-night events the lack of police presence and proactive crowd control is distressing, especially since this has been a recurring issue for several years.”

“We must not passively accept these incidents as the norm. It’s time for a proactive, preventative
approach to keep our community safe,” Brantley concluded.

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