MACON, Ga. — 2020 will be a year that we will never forget for many reasons. From being in a pandemic, to race relations, and right in Macon, witnessing the record breaking number of homicides that took place this year.
"There's just really no good reason for it but the inability to resolve interpersonal conflict with lethal force," Mayor Robert Reichert said.
These were Mayor Reichert words when addressing the uptick of violence in Macon.
Jasmine Williams is the cousin of 15-year-old, Jamerian Lawrence. Lawrence was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was one of six teens to die violently this year.
"He didn't get to live his life really. He still was young," Jasmine Williams said.
Joyce Cephus was the best friend of 22-year-old, Jhacaya Mann. Mann was one of six who got shot on Thanksgiving Day at the Thirsty Turtle, she did not survive.
"I really don't see me without her. It was always us. That was my friend. My best friend," Joyce Cephus said.
Sheriff David Davis says a modern day record was set this year, which is normal in bigger cities like Atlanta, but not in Macon.
"It's been a very troubling year for us," Davis said. "I think COVID-19 has contributed to this and the uncertainty of life now."
Davis says he sees the stress reflected in the kinds of crimes. Cases where several people were shot at once, domestic violence killings and impulse homicides.
"It is troubling and heart wrenching every time we get a call saying that somebody has lost their life. In whatever way they may have lost their life, but particularly to violence that could have been avoided with some early intervention," Davis said.
Davis says next year, he wants to reform relationships with all parts on the Macon-Bibb community.
He plans to start a new program called "Reach and Restorative Justice" within the first quarter of the new year, to encourage teens and young adults to find peaceful solutions, or ask for help instead of lashing out.
Davis urges people to intervene if you see someone going down the wrong path, because many of these impulse decisions can be solved with intervention.
Davis says this year the sheriff's office had a 70% solve rate. 32 cases are solved out of the 51 homicides.