Residents Say Shootings Commonplace - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/24/04

Residents Say Shootings Commonplace

Savannah artist Gregory Myrick was shot near this playground. Savannah artist Gregory Myrick was shot near this playground.
Savannah-Chatham police are investigating an attempted armed robbery and shooting of a well-known Savannah artist. Forty-nine-year-old Gregory Myrick drove to police headquarters on Habersham Street and told officers he had been shot.

Myrick says two masked men tried to rob him near a playground in Hitch Village around 11:30pm last night. He resisted and they shot him.

"He was approached by two black males in ski masks who demanded money and ended up shooting him," said Savannah-Chatham police spokesman Bucky Burnsed.

Myrick was taken to Memorial Health where he was treated and released.

Residents in Hitch Village say they heard the shooting last night, but they're used to it. Those we spoke with say hearing gunshots in the middle of the night isn't new to them. It's just another night in Hitch Village.

A playground by day, residents say turns into a war zone at night.

"You got to survive," said resident Angela Bostic. "You got to do what you have to to survive."

And residents say survival isn't easy in Hitch Village. The shooting last night happened during a robbery attempt near the park right across the street from Bostic's house. "I only heard the shots," she said. "I was in my house."

Bostick may not seem too shocked by this act of violence, and that's because she isn't. Residents say dodging bullets has become a certain way of life for them.

"It goes on here all the time," said Bostick. "Every night it goes on."

"Everybody is trying to mess up somebody," said neighbor Arthur Mims. "Ain't doing nothing right."

Just in the last few months, there have been several shootings in Hitch Village, including one in June where two men were shot and a 20-year-old later died. And in December, another man was shot, sending him to the hospital.

"I have friends who don't want to come here and visit," said Bostick. "They just don't want to come through here."

After years of unnecessary violence, she says she just wants an end to Hitch Village always being on the news. "Police are here in the day, but we need them here at night," she said.

We did speak with the victim latest, artist Gregory Myrick, who's been a fixture in Savannah's Johnson Square, selling his artwork for many years. He did not want to go on television but he did say he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Savannah-Chatham police say there are a few discrepancies in Myrick's story and they are continuing their investigation.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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