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Macon business owner says crime, deputy response times downfall of area

A business owner says one problem is that the sheriff's office isn't giving the south Macon area the attention it needs.

MACON, Ga. — Monday’s shootings at Friends Food Mart marks Bibb County's 28th and 29th homicides of the year.

A business owner says one problem is that the sheriff's office isn't giving the south Macon area the attention it needs.

"It’s getting out of hand, we don't feel safe," Macon store owner Mohammad Mueed said.

After two years in business on Houston Avenue, Mueed says things have taken a turn for the worse over the last six months.

"Every other day, there is a shooting going on around here and then, like we try to call the police, I have to say I’m sorry that the police is not helping us up with that," he said.

He owns the convenience store just a few feet from where two men began shooting at each other on Monday and both ended up dead. Mueed says crime is a problem, but so are the Bibb County Sheriff Office's response times. He gave an example from last month.

"I called the police and it was about 4, 4:30, and they say, 'I have people on the way,' but that help came about 7:00 after three hours," he recalled.

Monday night when Braxton Cole and Roderick Felton exchanged shots, Sergeant Linda Howard of the sheriff's office says it took deputies just 3 minutes to respond.

"We had Mr. Cole approaching Mr. Felton in the parking lot. As Mr. Felton is walking into the store, Cole is following him inside. They exchange words right there at the entrance. Cole produces a gun and shoots Felton. Felton then produces a gun himself and shoots back at Cole," she explained.

Howard says they're still investigating whether the two men were gang members and possible motives.

As many of Macon's recent shootings have involved young adults, Howard says they lean on the community for help.

"One is too many. We’re just asking the community if they know of anybody having any disagreements, no matter how small. small arguments can turn into something big like what happened last night," she said.

Mueed said an employee told him the fight started at his store, then moved to the Friends Food Mart next door. He said he knows one of the men who died as a regular customer. He said they hardly see patrol cars along Houston Avenue, but Howard says they have assigned deputies to the neighborhood.

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