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2 dead, 3 hurt at motorcycle gathering, landing Augusta on U.S. list of mass shootings



At least two people are dead and three injured after gunfire erupted Saturday during an argument at a motorcycle gathering on Sand Bar Ferry Road in Augusta, landing the Garden City on the 2023 national list of mass shootings.

Richmond County authorities got the call at 6:35 p.m. Saturday about a shooting with five gunshot victims. Coroner Mark Bowen confirmed Saturday evening that two had died.

On Sunday morning, the coroner identified the two who died as 51-year-old Germayne Farrell of Daytona Beach, Florida, and 30-year-old Keith Coates of Valdosta, Georgia.

Germayne Farrell (Facebook)

Bowen said the deaths occurred on the 100 block of Sand Bar Ferry Road at Prep Phillips Drive. “Both victims were shot at least one time and pronounced dead on the scene” at 7:50 p.m. Saturday, the coroner said.  

According to media reports, an event at a motorcycle club escalated to gunfire after an argument. One witness said that a “motorcycle gang” was having a big gathering with hundreds of motorcyclists riding around the area. Investigators had a Harley pulled over at 5th and Broad Streets, the witness said.

The number of people who were shot instantly landed Augusta on the national list of mass shootings. The mass shooting tracker hit 260 on Saturday, with a “mass shooting” defined as “an incident of violence in which 4 or more people are shot.”

Burke County made the 2023 MST list on April 16 after a block party on Tyrone Brooks Drive in Keysville led to gunfire and four people suffering gunshot wounds. None of those injuries resulted in death.

Complicating Saturday’s investigation are reports that a fire official ran over one of the bodies with his city vehicle, with a witness video showing the incident as it happened live. Several local residents reacted in shock. “That man on the ground dead and the EMS truck just ran him over y’all,” the Facebook user says.

Meanwhile, Augusta residents were reacting to Saturday’s bloody violence, which took place not far from the downtown area.

India Heard said, “Crime can happen anywhere and furthermore, reports say that these were older men, possibly out of towners!”

Peggy Peterson added, “I hate to hear this. I hope it doesn’t pose a reflection on ALL motorcycle clubs. So many of them do so much good as Shriners, Toys for Tots, Patriots, etc. I hope we find out what caused this.”

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  1. So now we not only have to ban guns, we’re going to have to ban EMS trucks?
    But seriously, this is obviously a sad thing to have happened. The person in the article was right in that these motorcycle groups have been known to do very charitable things for the community. We need more information to get a better idea of what’s happened.

  2. There is a huge difference between a Motorcycle Club and a Motorcycle Gang. My wife and I rode with a Club for many years and saw parts of this beautiful country that we otherwise wouldn’t have ever seen. When these Gangs get together they have a so called party and start shooting up everything.

  3. Biker gangs eventually increase the crime rate and police budget when they congregate in one place. That’s why many tourist destinations, like Myrtle Beach, eventually ran out of hospitality and rolled up the welcome mat. There are existing laws that govern public gatherings at https://library.municode.com/ga/augusta-richmond_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT3PUSA_CH4MAGA . Surely Sheriff Roundtree and City Attorney Wayne Brown can find a legal reason to stop a biker party before the violence erupts. Early intervention would result in numerous arrests of convicted felons in possession of a firearm (probably stolen) that would make great headlines.

  4. A fire official ran over a body with a city vehicle. They have gone from wrecking fire trucks to running over bodies. And we should have confidence in the fire department driving ambulances? Not going great so far.

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