Bullet holes can be seen in a window and the siding of the Raffield Tire shop at the corner of Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Poplar Street.
At around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office responded to calls of shots fired near the shop. Danny Causey was pronounced dead at the scene, and another man, Terry Warren, was taken to the hospital and treated for gunshot wounds.
People posting concerns to the 13WMAZ Facebook page are saying things like they’re not surprised about any dead bodies or that they wouldn’t come near downtown without a tank. They are also posting memes about wearing bulletproof vests.
Lieutenant Sean DeFoe with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office says that the shooting that happened on Sunday morning marks the 37th homicide this year, but the first one in downtown Macon.
He could only point us to a shooting that happened in August of 2016 outside of Dream Bar and Lounge, farther down Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, more than a mile away from downtown.
“I think they feel like downtown is a lot of crime,” said Brian Ochoa, owner of The Gentry barbershop.
Ochoa walks down Poplar every day on his way to work. He says there's a stigma that downtown is unsafe.
“I know people from surrounding towns have a certain idea about downtown, but when we invite them to go out or whatever, they see it's very safe down here,” said Ochoa.
According to DeFoe and our records, the last fatal shooting in the downtown's business district happened in February 2016, when Mercer basketball player Jibri Bryan was killed outside a Flash Foods on Forsyth Street. That was nearly three years ago.
Still, Ochoa and others would appreciate an increase in patrol officers around Poplar Street to make sure another shooting doesn't happen again, but the sheriff’s office says they’re experiencing a shortage.