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Mother of Dublin shooting victim shares what she believed happened leading up to Labor Day Shooting

In the early morning hours of Labor Day, Nicola Hicks stood outside on East Jackson Street, trying to get to her son.

DUBLIN, Ga. — In the early morning hours of Labor Day, Nicola Hicks stood outside on East Jackson Street, trying to get to her son. He was on the other end of the street, lying next to a crosswalk. The street was taped off by police, who didn't let her cross the line. 

"They told me if I come across that tape line...I was going to custody," Hicks said. 

Her son, Richard Collins, was lying at the end of South Franklin and East Jackson. According to Dublin Police, that's where he was shot in the head. 

Three others were shot around the same time, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested three people for the shooting, according to a press release

Hicks said her son was attending a party at a former lounge, Aces Lounge, on East Jackson Street that night. She was told the others who were shot were also at the same party. 

According to the City of Dublin, the lounge has been closed since 2017, and there's no liquor license issued for that address. 

The owner of the building, Vangela Hines, said they were having a private party there that night. 

On Sep. 6, Dublin Mayor Joshua Kight put out a statement saying the shooting resulted from alcohol and gambling. 

Hicks agrees. She said Collins' friends told her it all started when a game of dice went south outside of the party. She said witnesses told her someone Collins knew was robbed during the dice game. 

"He retaliated for being robbed, so he broke out to shooting first," Hicks said.

She believes Collins was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She said friends told her he was walking out of the lounge and towards his car to go home when he was shot. She said he was not a big gambler and was not gambling that night. 

Collins was pronounced dead by the coroner at 2:23 a.m., according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

Hicks said she never got to cross the crime scene tape to see Collins before his body was taken away.

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