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HomeNewsGBI Says Downtown Augusta Shooting was a Gunfight Covering 2-3 Blocks

GBI Says Downtown Augusta Shooting was a Gunfight Covering 2-3 Blocks

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The chaotic gunfire that panicked bar patrons and led two deputies to shoot an armed suspect in downtown Augusta early Saturday was the result of a gunfight between multiple suspects, the GBI said Sunday.

Amazing Lee Blessed Brigham, 19, of Hephzibah, was identified Sunday evening as the suspect who was shot while armed with an assault pistol, the GBI said. He was expected to be booked into the Richmond County Detention Center once released from the hospital. No mugshot was available Sunday night, and he does not appear to have a criminal record in the area.

Agents are working to identify other suspects, reviewing video from downtown businesses and interviewing witnesses.

Three Richmond County deputies were working off-duty jobs during First Friday around 1:15 a.m. Saturday at the Sole’ restaurant at 1033 Broad St. when multiple shots were fired in the area, the GBI said in Sunday’s press release.

“This area of Broad Street had heavy pedestrian traffic due to the many bars and restaurants,” the release says. “The deputies heard multiple gunshots. The deputies responded to the gunshots and encountered a man outside of the restaurant holding an assault pistol. Two of the three deputies shot at the suspect, hitting the suspect.”

Two other bystanders were also hit by gunfire and sustained minor wounds that were described by the GBI as “superficial” and not requiring a stay in the hospital.

“The gunfire outside of the restaurant was between the suspect and multiple other unidentified individuals, and this gunfight covered an area of two to three blocks,” the GBI said.

Multiple weapons were recovered as well as other evidence of the crime including seven vehicles that were hit by gunfire. Several businesses sustained damage from gunfire.

Brigham will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree asked the GBI to take over the case since his deputies were involved in the shooting, and the officers who fired were placed on administrative leave with pay. At a Saturday afternoon press conference, the sheriff hailed the officers as “heroes” who saved lives with their quick action.

The sheriff has not released the names of the deputies involved.

Meanwhile, the GBI is asking witnesses to come forward to assist investigators. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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