AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Shots fired early Saturday morning in downtown Augusta left windows shattered and raised concerns about safety in the downtown area.

“It’s disturbing that we can’t just have a crowd downtown without having violence,” Robert Stokes, co-owner of Lenox on Tenth says. 

“It just gives downtown a bad rap,” co-owner Aris Reed says.

A First Friday in Augusta turned violent.

“I didn’t know where the shooting was at, everybody was just running," a witness says. "It was kind of crazy so, I was just trying to find out where my friends were and make sure everybody was safe.”

At around 1:13 a.m., deputies inside of a downtown night club heard and saw at least two armed men firing at each other in the middle of a crowded side walk.

In a press conference, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree says in part, “Deputies immediately engaged the suspect who was firing an assault style weapon into the crowd of fleeing bystanders by returning fire.”

According to Sheriff Roundtree, the suspect was taken into custody and to the hospital to be treated.

There are two others known to be injured from non-threatening gunshot wounds who are stable and in recovery.

Those downtown Saturday night say they weren't surprised the incident occurred.

“We walked back to the car, saw the yellow tape, then heard a couple of people got hit or whatever," Montez Travis says. "A couple cars got hit or whatever, that's about it.”

Local businesses are nervous an unsafe area will detour people from coming downtown and have ideas on how violence could be reduced.

“I’m not a fan of over policing but, just a presence would be nice," Reed says. "There’s a lot of things that can be done, the presence itself, I think, was missing last night.”

Commissioner Jordan Johnson says he is here to listen to those businesses.

“We’ve heard the concerns of the people downtown Augusta, we are listening and we are heading to the drawing board to decide how best to address those needs," Commissioner Johnson says. "We are on their side and I want folks to know that we are partners in this effort to make sure downtown remains safe for whoever wants to patronize.”

Mayor Garnett Johnson is ready to discuss and look for a solution.

“What happens in the mere hours of the mornings is a concern of mine and that’s something I feel strongly we need to address and today were taking action to address it,” Mayor Johnson says.

The mayor’s office has already been in contact with the governor’s office for assistance with resources to keep downtown patrolled and safe.

Law enforcement is seeking eye witnesses. If you have any information, contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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