Midweek shooting on Williams Street injures one


One juvenile is being sought for his alleged involvement in a shooting that took place around the middle of last week.

Randy Ellison, chief of Swainsboro Police Department, went on record Tuesday morning and stated the male his office believes to be responsible for shooting and injuring a 22-year-old Swainsboro man has yet to be caught, although efforts are underway to locate him.

The incident took place on Wednesday, January 5, about 10 minutes before 4 p.m. outside of a residence on Williams Street.

Swainsboro police were dispatched to the area, and Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist not long after the initial call.

Barney had already been transported by a friend to the local hospital for treatment. Investigators say he was shot “multiple times” by the juvenile with a shot gun as well as what officials suspect was a small-caliber hand gun.

A few officers met the victim at the emergency room while others remained on scene, attempting to piece together what transpired.

“At this time, we believe this incident was the result of an ongoing dispute between the victim and the juvenile, whose name, of course, we can’t release because he’s underage,” Chief Ellison said. “We feel like the juvenile offender sought out the victim because of recent events between them and located him on Williams Street, which ultimately led to an altercation that gave way to weapons being pulled and fired.”

Barney was later transported to a hospital in Augusta. He has since been released and is doing well, according to the leader of the city police force.

Both of the males involved are from Swainsboro.

Charges have since been taken out on the offender, but he has not been taken into custody as of yesterday.

“We’ve been in contact with his family members. They know we’re seeking him, and we’re going through all the proper steps and putting in the effort to find him,” Chief Ellison added.

At this time, the juvenile is the sole suspect, although that could change once he is apprehended and interviewed.

Should anyone have information pertaining to the case, Chief Ellison asks tips be phoned into the department.

“You can call 478-237-8967 and ask to speak with an officer or a member of our staff,” he continued. “Right now, we have a pretty good idea of what happened. The folks who were still on scene when we got there were helpful and provided bits and pieces of the puzzle. Within an hour, we were able to name a suspect.”

The chief went on to say SPD currently believes this was a stand-alone incident unrelated to any other crime, despite the history between the two males.

“I’m not sure I can say this case is broader than itself. We know these two guys had some differences, but we haven’t gotten to the bottom of what the initial beef was about. We will, though.”

Chief Ellison did add that the incident led to property damage of sorts. A nearby vehicle was struck a few times and damaged as a result of the gunfire.

Beyond that, Chief Ellison hopes this isn’t indicative of what 2022 will hold.

“We’ve seen a pretty steady increase in domestic-type incidences since Christmas. We’re hopeful this isn’t an indication of how the new year will go, and we hope those numbers will fall off. Of course, we’re seeing a rise in COVID cases, which is putting people on edge at home. Still, we don’t need to be making the stresses of life, no matter what they are, worse, leading to situations like this.”

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