Two minutes of gunfire, hundreds of potential witnesses and "zero leads"
Image courtesy of Google Earth
Even before it started, the Milledgeville Police Department knew that it might not end well.
Flyers had been circulating online for weeks about a big "block party" off of Dunlap Road. With this in mind, the MPD beefed up patrols in the area and rode through the neighborhood on Saturday night. In the end, however, it didn't matter.
More than 100 shots were fired intermittently over a two-minute period shortly after midnight around the intersection of Leo Court and Nobles Circle. Party-goers, many hundreds of them, were sent scrambling in every direction. There were so many vehicles and homes struck by gunfire that the MPD is still counting.
Despite all of this (hundreds of potential witnesses and two minutes of gunfire), the MPD had "zero real leads" as of lunchtime Monday, according to Chief Dray Swicord.
"Apparently, no one saw anything,"the chief said. "We haven't even gotten a vehicle description. Unfortunately, at this point and in the society that we're living in today, that's about what we expected would happen."
Swicord said that "obviously the overwhelming majority of people at the party weren't in gangs and weren't gang-affiliated," but added that "inevitably an event like this will attract its share of gang members."
Five people were shot, all totaled, four female. All five shooting victims initially were listed in stable condition, and three have since been released from the hospital, according to Swicord.
Following the incident, "Milledgeville" made it to the oft-cited "Mass Shootings" list today on the gunviolence.org website. Large media outlets often use the website when reporting on the number of mass shootings over a weekend or a certain period. The website defines mass shootings as having "a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident."
According to an MPD press release, at "approximately 12:34am, Officers responded to the area in reference to multiple reports of shots fired at the location. As officers were arriving on scene, a large crowd was fleeing the area. Officers located multiple vehicles and houses that had been struck by gunfire. At the same time officers were arriving on scene, officers were notified by Navicent Health Baldwin that multiple victims suffering from gunshot wounds had arrived at the hospital. All victims were brought to the hospital in personal vehicles."