No injuries in shootings; 3 people arrested

May 10—VALDOSTA — Valdosta police have made arrests in two shooting incidents in three days, one near a day care and the other at a house where children were inside, police said Friday.

No one was hurt in either incident.

About 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, a Valdosta police officer heard several gunshots in the area of the 1500 block of East Park Avenue. As officers were responding to the area, several citizens called E911 to report that subjects had been shooting a rifle and a handgun while in an apartment complex, the VPD said in a statement Thursday. A description of the vehicle that the guns were being discharged from was provided by several witnesses at the apartments.

An officer in the 1700 block of Williams Street observed a vehicle matching the description of the offenders' vehicle. Other officers and detectives arrived in the area and detained two subjects, police said. Officers observed a rifle and a handgun in the front seat of the vehicle.

Surveillance video recovered from the apartment complex showed the two occupants inside the vehicle discharging the firearms into the air, the VPD statement said.

"Officers and detectives found spent shell casings in the parking lot of the apartment complex," the VPD statement said. "The shell casings were located within 300 feet of a daycare, where small children had been playing on the playground until they heard the gunshots and ran inside."

The two men, ages 19 and 27, were both transported to Lowndes County Jail and have been charged with reckless conduct.

The case is still under investigation and further charges may be forthcoming.

"This was outstanding and quick work by our officers and detectives working together. The reckless action of these two individuals is deplorable, especially being so close to a daycare where children were playing. We are truly thankful that no one was injured during this incident." Said Chief Leslie Manahan.

In the second incident, around 6:48 p.m. Thursday, officers headed to a home in the 600 block of New Hudson Street after E911 got calls about an argument involving a woman with a gun, according to a Valdosta Police Department statement released on Friday.

Witnesses said she fired the gun several times and had driven away from the scene.

Police stopped her car on South Fry Street, the woman was detained and her gun located, police said.

Officers found that the suspect had been in an argument with a family member when she got a gun from her car and began firing, the statement said. A home and vehicles were hit by bullets.

When the home was hit, there were people inside, including two children, ages 2 and 3.

The suspect — described as a 30-year-old Valdosta woman — was charged with four felony counts of aggravated assault family violence, two misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, felony possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of felony cruelty to children in the first degree and three counts of cruelty to children in the third degree-family violence, the police statement said.

"Our officers and the E911 dispatchers did an excellent job handling this call for service, resulting in a quick arrest being made. It is extremely hard to understand someone shooting a firearm into her own family's residence. We are extremely lucky that she did not injure anyone, especially the small children," Chief Manahan said.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.