Tires skidding and fans cheering are the noises Aubrey Chaney says he usually hears while working at Headhunters Racetrack.
“We were getting ready to close down, and I heard a bunch of shooting,” said Chaney.
On Saturday night, the sounds of amusement quickly changed as several dozen people fled the track trying to get out alive.
“They were falling and screaming and running,” said Chaney.
It’s a sight that Chaney’s coworker David Harris says he will never forget.
“They were crying. They were hollering. They were trying to get away from getting shot,” said Harris.
Harris says fear set in as soon as he heard gunshots.
“I said, ‘Man I hope nobody got shot out there,’” said Harris.
He says this is not the first time he's heard gunshots while working, and Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says it is not uncommon for his department to go out there.
“This venue has been a problem for us on multiple occasions,” said Sills.
Sills says they have responded to numerous fights and a non-fatal shooting a few years ago, but he says nothing compares to the scene they walked into Saturday night.
“The scene there was more than hectic… just trying to get in there to start with because of the crowds,” said Sills.
He says 24-year-old Jestin Dunn, of Sparta, and 23-year-old Shurron Havior, of Milledgeville, exchanged fire on the track that left both dead and four others injured, including an 8-year-old.
Sills says the two men worked together and had gotten into an altercation earlier that week.
“Mr. Havior was terminated from work according to his parents,” said Sills.
Both Harris and Chaney say they hope major changes are made, and that the track can continue to stay open but with more safety measures in place.
Sills says the other people that were shot are expected to recover.
WMAZ reached out to the owner of the race track but he would not comment.