I’ve heard it said a couple of times. You might get run over by someone on 144, but things like Wednesday’s shooting just don’t happen in Richmond Hill.
Except that they do, of course, because no place is 100 percent safe — and Richmond Hill’s proximity to the interstate and its reputation as an affluent community make it an inviting target for those who would do such sorry things.
The fact this stuff doesn’t happen more often is a testament first to the Richmond Hill Police Department, which is about as high-speed a law enforcement agency for a town this size that I’ve ever seen. But you also have to give credit to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department for its presence in South Bryan.
And if you don’t think that matters, think again. I’ve seen it first hand and close up over in Liberty County years back on a muggy afternoon when I got out of my pickup at a convenience store in Midway the same time as two men who fit the description of gang bangers if I ever anyone did rolled up and got out of their car.
I was maybe 10 feet away, but I don’t think they paid me any attention at all. One of the men went around back and started to open the trunk of the car, but he was stopped by the other guy, who said, and I quote: “Chill, 5-0” and pointed in the direction of a Liberty County Sheriff’s Department squad car sitting at a LCSD substation about 200 yards north.
Five-oh being, I guess, slang for the police. At any rate, the two men got back in their car and drove off. They had Florida tags, so maybe they thought a convenience store out in the middle of nowhere, Georgia — and it was still relatively undeveloped, then — was a convenient target, but changed their minds after seeing the calvary was just around the corner.
That was along time ago, though. These are more crowded, potentially more dangerous times. And yet somehow, it’s rare that it happens here. Thank the police for that.
I hear the kid who was shot is expected to be OK, though that was unofficial.
That’s the biggest good thing from Wednesday’s shooting. Nobody got killed. There were other good things — Suites at Station Exchange head Rich DeLong praised his staff for their response, along with law enforcement and everyone who pitched in to help.
Bad things are often caused by bad people, but they tend to bring out the best in good people. All that happened here Wednesday.