A child’s football gear lay on the ground outside his grandmother’s house early Wednesday morning.
The helmet and shoulder pads were dropped when the boy learned his father, Jackie Dewayne Rouse, 38, had been shot and killed just after 9 p.m. on Dennis Street in east Macon.
On Halloween night, the crime scene tape didn’t look out of place strung across the house with its porch light illuminating ghosts and goblins hanging by the front door.
But the sheriff’s line was no decoration on a night of violence that will haunt multiple families and sheriff’s investigators long after trick-or-treat candy is eaten.
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“It’s been crazy. One after another, after another,” Bibb sheriff’s head of criminal investigations Capt. Shermaine Jones said as he ducked under the tape that blocked the side road off Kitchens Street about a block south of Shurling Drive near Fort Hill.
The first of Tuesday’s three homicides came just before 4 p.m. south of downtown Macon where 30-year-old Candace Towns, a transgender woman, was found shot to death on Rosecrest Avenue.
Towns had been reported missing Sunday and was last seen Saturday.
Bibb County’s homicide investigators were working to find Towns’ killer when two other shooting victims died and two more men were wounded in about 90 minutes Tuesday night.
“Rough night, trying to just figure out what we can figure out on all this stuff, trying to piece together, make sure none of it’s related,” Jones said just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. “It’s been a rough night in Bibb County.”
Jones said it was too early to tell if any of the cases were related, but he didn’t think Halloween revelry was a factor, although Rouse was killed during a party.
“I don’t think so. It doesn’t have that connotation at this moment,” he said as investigators talked to Rouse’s relatives. “Separate incidents, a chaotic night, a lot of work for us.”
As Rouse was fatally wounded, 31-year-old Quincey Bernard Emory was shot in the arm after a fight broke out during the party near the Fort Hill neighborhood.
Just before 9 p.m. on the west side of town at 1476 Burton Avenue, 21-year-old Jace Tyler Jenkins got into a fight at his home with 38-year-old Stewart Leslie Gordon Jr.
Gordon was fatally shot in the chest and pronounced dead by doctors at Medical Center, Navicent Health. Jenkins has been charged with murder.
A fifth shooting victim was in critical condition after more gunfire in south Macon at Rutland Place apartments.
Just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Kibwe Troupe-Steed, 22, was shot multiple times outside the 1500 building of the complex at 5577 Houston Road.
Witnesses at the apartment said after Troupe-Steed stepped outside, they heard shots, found him wounded and pulled him back inside the door.
At about 3 a.m. on Dennis Street, deputies were rolling up crime scene tape and investigators were packing up.
They hadn’t had time to inquire about the south Macon shooting their colleagues were working but shook their heads when they learned there was no description of the shooter.
When told to try to get some rest, they shrugged it off.
“Aw, we don’t need sleep,” one of them said before commenting on the chill in the early morning air.