MACON, Ga. — Bibb County says trouble has been brewing at the Friends Food Mart long before Monday's double homicide.
"People coming from outside and firing or something like that, that's not my fault," Friends Food Mart owner Bob Patel said.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says they've logged at least 20 complaints at Friends on Houston Avenue. Bob Patel says Monday’s shooting was the only time trouble spilled over into the store.
"We don't have any problems inside. Outside, that's a different thing. We can’t do outside, people get together or fire at each other, we can’t handle the death. Not on our hands," Patel said.
Outside, there are T-shirts in memory of multiple victims, bullet holes in the front door, and, usually, a large crowd. The county's petition lists of fighting, shootings and drug activity around the store, but Patel maintains he makes the calls.
"We call a lot of times to police department, but that stuff happens outside, not in my store," he said.
Four men, all under the age of 25 were involved in shootings at Friends Food Mart in the span of 30 days this year. Quinton Reese lives a few blocks from the store and says authorities should have stepped in sooner.
"It should not have taken for two lives to be loss for someone to step in, especially when it was as egregious as it was," he said.
As the store's fate heads to court, Patel says he's hired an attorney to fight back.
"We’re going to court because we lose our business, we lose our money and everything. Inventory like 60-70,000, we lose everything," the owner said.
Next comes the June 29 hearing to determine whether or not the store will be permanently closed.
Records show the county turned them down based on the history of "uncontrolled violent and drug related activity on the premises."