Macon’s recent string of suspected gang violence intensified late Monday and early Tuesday when eight people were shot in the city, officials said.
According to police, the shootings took place in the 900 block of Vine Street at 11:50 p.m. Monday; the 1400 block of Berkner Avenue at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday; the 400 block of Mosley Street at 3:37 a.m. and the 1100 block of Ell Street at 3:38 a.m.
Police had made no arrests by Tuesday evening.
Police Chief Mike Burns said his STRIKE team and officers were patrolling the streets where a number of parties were under way and issued some citations late Monday. After they left, the first victim was shot just before midnight. Police said they were on heightened alert because of an event involving the Crips gang that was supposed to take place Sept. 12.
Police recovered multiple shell casings at all four locations. Burns said shell casings from Berkner, Vine and Ell appeared to come from the same assault rifle and .45-caliber handgun.
The Vine Street victim, Nicholaus Brabham, 26, of Lawton Avenue, was shot in both legs, the right arm and midsection. When they arrived, officers found several people surrounding Brabham, trying to stop the bleeding when police arrived. Brabham was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, and he was still in surgery Tuesday afternoon.
An unknown number of gunmen reportedly were in a burgundy Honda, which was later recovered by police at Scotland Heights apartments on Scotland Avenue off Log Cabin Drive.
The most serious incident took place on Berkner Avenue, where six males were shot during a large party. None of those injuries are considered life-threatening, officials said.
The Berkner Avenue victims are Gabriel Jackson, 22, who was shot in the right calf; Erin Johnson, 20, shot in the right calf and below the knee; Mantrell Thomas, 21, shot in the left foot and knee; Jarod Mims, 23, of West Hickory Street, shot in the left forearm and grazed in the back; Santonio Mattox, 21, grazed in the left arm; and Leroy Jarrell III, 23, shot in the right thigh.
Several vehicles on the street also were hit with bullets, the police report said. A .45-caliber handgun was found at the scene.
More than an hour later, Eric Ponder, 46, of Hilary Court, was shot in the right elbow while crossing Ell Street in south Macon. Ponder heard gunfire and ran as he got shot, the report said.
A neighborhood resident heard the gunfire and called 911.
A blue-green Pontiac may have been involved in the Berkner Avenue and Ell Street shootings, police said.
The car previously had been reported stolen and was later recovered off Napier Avenue, according to a police news release.
Witnesses told officers the gunmen were driving a white Chevrolet Impala.
At the same time as the Ell Street gunfire, two gunmen fired on a duplex on Moseley Street. Both residences sustained damage, but none of the occupants was injured.
In addition to the shootings, a man was threatened by a gunman early Tuesday morning on Marion Place, according to a police report. The victim, Albert McCrary Jr., 34, heard a knock at his door just after 4 a.m. When he answered, he saw a man with a black bandanna over his face who pointed a handgun at McCrary.
According to a police report, the gunman asked McCrary if he knew “Nab.” McCrary said he did.
A second gunman in the back seat of a black Cadillac pointed an AK-47 at McCrary. The first gunman told McCrary “he was next,” the report said. McCrary wasn’t injured during the incident.
Officials said they heard about large parties planned for Monday.
City Councilman Virgil Watkins Jr., chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said he got a call Monday about parties that reportedly began midday Monday.
Watkins is trying to put together a comprehensive strategy to fight the violence.
“I think it’s been urgent for a while. In terms of aggravated assault, there hasn’t been much of a slow down. It’s been going up,” Watkins said Tuesday morning. “There’s something going on with illegal guns, black market weapons.”
Bibb County Chief Deputy David Davis spoke with Macon Deputy Police Chief Mike Carswell early Tuesday and learned a number of parties may have converged overnight.
“The police department had knowledge about (the parties), and there have been some parties in parts of town over there near Unionville,” Davis said.
Bibb County sheriff’s investigators will help determine whether the violence is gang-related, he said.
Davis confirmed some local groups use 912 as their “block number” -- a moniker for their territory -- which coincided with Monday’s date.
“Obviously when you have the date of 9/12, that could be a tie-in,” Davis said.
Burns said the information his officers received about the 912 connection led to an increase in officers on the streets, but witnesses are not cooperating with police.
“We have this type shooting on Berkner Avenue where there are over 100 people there, but nobody saw anything,” Burns said.
Two weeks ago, Mayor Robert Reichert held a forum at Macon City Hall to address problems with a rise in gang violence, after five teenagers were shot in two incidents in the span of a week.
One of those teens, Arquentris Fountain, 16, died after being shot in the head outside a birthday party.
Macon police arrested suspects in both incidents.
Anyone with information about the most recent shootings is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303. To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.