Two men in critical condition after shooting during basketball tournament

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Two men were critically wounded by gunfire during a basketball tournament Sunday afternoon in Jackson.

The incident occurred at approximately 4:35 p.m. at a gym owned by the Butts County School System.

“It wasn’t at the high school, but it was on school property. It was at a basketball arena – a stand-alone gym. It’s 456 Franklin St.,” said Butts County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Maj. Jeff Nix.

The two victims – a 19-year-old man and a 45-year-old man – were initially transported to Sylvan Grove Hospital before being flown by air ambulance to the Trauma Unit of Grady Memorial Hospital.

Both men remain in the Intensive Care Unit Monday, Nix said.

Authorities say neither man wounded in the shooting was affiliated with the school system.

“It was basically an adult basketball league tournament going on,” Nix said.

Investigators are working to determine what led up to the shooting.

Some suspects are in custody, but additional arrests are expected.

“We don’t really know what happened as far as what started it all,” Nix said. “We’re expecting numerous arrests. They’re coming in now. I literally just watched one come in as we’ve been speaking.”

Officials are also working to determine how many people at the tournament were armed with guns and participated in the shooting.

“We’re still trying to figure out how many people had guns, how may were firing. We’re still investigating that,” he said.

Asked how many shots were fired in the gym, Nix said, “Numerous. We don’t have a total number at this time. It was numerous shots.”

The shooting victims have not been identified. It was confirmed each man sustained one gunshot wound.

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