An argument over money ended with shots being fired and three suspects being sought by the Upson County Sheriff’s Office. No one was seriously hurt in the incident.
According to a report by Deputy Justin Hammock, he was dispatched at 11:50 p.m. on June 1 to a home on Denton Street. En route, dispatch advised him that one person had been shot.
When Hammock arrived on scene, he met with the complaintant, who was bleeding from her mouth. She said she did not think she had been shot, but she may have been cut. She had a small cut on her nose and another just above her left eye. EMS arrived and began treating her.
The deputy talked to her boyfriend, who was also bleeding from his mouth. He said they were in their bedroom when his brother, along with another man and a woman, came into the house. The boyfriend said he had left the front door open.
The man said he and his brother began arguing about money the brother said he owed him, and the couple began yelling at the trio to get out of their house. The argument moved outside into the front yard, and the boyfriend said the woman pulled out a knife and began trying to cut his girlfriend. The man said he picked up a bat to scare the others off, but when he approached the second man, the visitor pulled out a handgun. The man said he threw the bat at the gunman, who fired a shot back toward him. The man said he picked up a water meter cover and threw it at the gunman, who fired a second shot, then all three intruders ran off.
The man wrote out his statement for the deputy. His girlfriend was treated by EMS on scene, but was not transported to Upson Regional Medical Center. Her account was the same as her boyfriend’s.
Deputy Hammond then talked to a neighbor who lives on Vistavia Lane. She told him she saw the visiting female pull out a knife and try to cut the woman, who knocked the knife out of her hand and knocked her assailant to the ground She said the three then ran off, but when they got to the Stop sign at the corner of Vestivia Lane and Denton, she saw the second man pull out a handgun and fire two shots at the boyfriend.
The deputy also talked with another witness who lives on Denton Street. He said he was in his house when he heard what sounded like a metal post hitting the road. When he went outside, he noticed six people in front of his residence. He also heard two shots fired and ran back inside and told his mother he thought someone was being shot.
Deputy Hammock recovered two silver in color folding knives with the blades open, a silver bat, and a cellphone the boyfriend said was his. He was unable to locate any shell casings. The knives and bat were taken as evidence, and the incident was turned over to investigations.
The Thomaston-Upson School System and Upson-Lee High School have set guidelines regarding visitors’ behavior during graduation exercises. The guidelines are published in the newspapers, read on the radio, announced repeatedly over the public address system at Matthews Field prior to graduation, and also printed in the programs handed out at graduation.
One of the main guidelines is that family members and friends are not allowed to clap or cheer for their graduate when he or she received their diploma. Applause is allowed after each row of students has received their diplomas. Violation of this noise guideline, as stated in the guidelines, is punishable by the person or persons being escorted by Sheriff’s deputies from the stadium and being charged with disorderly conduct.
Five people found out last Friday night the school system and Sheriff’s Department mean business when the noise guideline is violated. At the ULHS graduation, after they clapped and cheered when their graduate received his or her diploma, the five were escorted from the stadium by deputies and received citations for disorderly conduct. According to incident reports filed by the deputies, they are David Michael Boyt, 36, of Thomaston, Janiyah Ashanti Grier, 18, of Atlanta, Deanna Standridge, 25, of Thomaston, Ja’cob Daniel Standridge, 22, of Thomaston, and Yasheaka Danielle Bostic, 35, of Hampton.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.