By Lewis Levine, and Pat Donahue.
Hinesville police officers are continuing to look for the suspected shooters in two incidents from the weekend.
On Friday night, one person was wounded when an unknown assailant opened fire on people having an evening barbecue. On Sunday, three people were hurt, one seriously enough to be airlifted, in another shooting.
Police do not believe there is any connection between the two shootings.
“Based on what we know at this stage of our investigations, they all seem to have been separate and unrelated incidents that happened within hours of each other,” HPD Chief Lloyd Slater said. “They were all individual shootings where the victims, most likely, knew their assailants and not a series of random acts of violence.”
Chief Slater also said more officers are now on the streets.
“Although the investigations into these shootings are still ongoing, I have authorized the additional overtime and put more officers on the street, both in plain clothes and marked units, to help ensure the safety of our citizens and to help prevent incidents such as these from becoming an everyday or common occurrence,” he said.
At about 10:22 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to Freedom Court in regard to a complaint of threats. As officers headed toward the scene, more phone calls came in telling dispatchers there had been a shooting and at least three people had been hit.
HPD Maj. Tracey Howard, the assistant chief of police, said once officers arrived on scene, they found two of the victims had been taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center and a third victim had collapsed nearby. That victim eventually was airlifted to Memorial Health University Center in Savannah.
Any time someone is discharging weapons in an environment where people are, then you anticipate the possibility of collateral damage,” Maj. Howard said. “In the incident (Friday night), there were vehicles and buildings hit that did not appear to be affiliated with the intended target.”
A gathering Friday evening at a Hinesville apartment complex turned violent when an unknown assailant fired upon a group of people having a barbecue.
One man was wounded in the leg and taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville. There were two other people with the wounded man who escaped injury. The incident occurred in the Harbor North Apartments on the 800 block of Veterans Parkway.
Maj. Howard said anyone with any information is asked to call the HPD at (912) 368-8211.
“We are working on those leads,” he said.