Robert Thomas thought there had been a killing upon seeing dozens of police parked along his street.
Standing behind the fence surrounding the house he bought last month, he studied the deputies who had congregated at Lilly and Pansy avenues.
“Somebody died?” Thomas asked a news reporter.
No one was killed Thursday.
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Bibb County Sheriff David Davis and deputies were just walking the streets of Unionville, the second of two neighborhood they visited during Thursday night’s Walk for Safety.
The community engagement event began in Huguenin Heights on the other side of Pio Nono Avenue, where Bibb County’s most recent homicide occurred.
“We just want to let this neighborhood know we’re here for them,” Davis said. “If anybody may have seen something, let us know.”
A memorial of balloons, candles and pictures outside Winship Elementary School marked the spot where 16-year-old Jayvon Sherman was shot dead Oct. 19 on his way to Central High School.
The sheriff attended elementary at Winship and grew up in the neighborhood.
“I know this neighborhood very, very well,” Davis said, adding that there are no chronic criminal problems there.
The sheriff shook hands with folks who were outside their homes while also surveying the neighborhood for blight.
“If it’s an overgrown lot or trash needs to be picked up, we have inmate work crews that will come and take care of that,” the sheriff said. “We find a lot of them when we go out on these walks.”
Almega Brown happen to be outside a house on Patterson Street when the sheriff and his crew stopped to give some children some free goodies.
The 23-year-old said she didn’t know Sherman, but neighbors told her he was “an intelligent and smart person who was trying to make a change for himself.”
“All the gunshots and killing and black people dying, we just need more safety,” she said. Seeing police walk the streets “makes me feel like they’re trying to make a change and a difference in our community.”