Bibb County Sheriff responds to homicide at “Death Valley” party

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County Sheriff David Davis says there is new information about Macon’s weekend shootings that left one person dead and six others injured. Sheriff Davis says he believes the shootings are related.

Hundreds of people attended a block party Saturday night, given the name Death Valley, in Macon’s Bellvue neighborhood. But the Death Valley party became just that.

Party goers and community members are mourning the loss of Deroderick Ridley. They are also wishing a speedy recovery for five others who were shot Saturday night.

“This was an unusual Saturday night, because you had a party we typically don’t know about that resulted in violence, which was extreme, the type we have not seen in our community in awhile,” Sheriff Davis said.

Sheriff Davis says more than 200 shots were fired Saturday night during the Death Valley block party on Suzanne Drive.

Sheriff Davis said before the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office received calls about noise complaints. He said while deputies were en route, a black Charger drove in the crowd and started doing donuts.

“Someone from the party goes up to the driver of this Charger and basically tells him to ‘quit.’ They get involved in a fist fight and that breaks up,” he said.

Davis says shortly after the altercation, gun shots were exchanged. Four people were injured as a result.

Sheriff Davis said the crowd scattered and many people went to Log Cabin Drive and Hillcrest Avenue.

“We’re not sure if the actual shootings are connected. We do think all of this is connected to the other one in some way or fashion,” Sheriff Davis said.

According to Sheriff Davis, another dark color vehicle pulled up to the crowd at Log Cabin Drive and Hillcrest Avenue. Davis says two masked men got out and shot into the crowd, hitting Deroderick Ridley and Marquise Simmons.

According to a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, an ambulance picked up Simmons, but there was a shortage in emergency vehicles. Ridley was transported to the hospital by patrol car.

“Sheriff’s Office had been told there were no ambulances available, so the deputies had to take action,” said Sheriff Davis. “Sergeant Howard and two other deputies immediately started giving CPR and life saving efforts.”

Ridley passed away from his injuries.

The shooting happened in front of Ridley’s barbershop — Just Right Barbershop. His barber, Rodney Kendall, said Ridley was a good man and leaves behind a daughter.

“Real nice guy. Always had a smile on his face. [He] will come in selling t-shirts. Just a fun guy. Just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Kendall said.

Sheriff Davis said all emergency personnel were busy Saturday night.

“This happens once in a great period of time when all of the EMS resources are tasked. Even the fire resources were tasked,” Sheriff Davis said.

In a news statement from Community Ambulance it said: “We are thankful for the great working relationship we have with our local Sheriff’s Office, fire department, Navicent EMS and with our neighbors at Houston EMS and Monroe County EMS. We are all working together for the same goal- to take care of our community and get people the help they need when they need it the most.”

Kendall said he just wants the violence to stop.

“It’s a very sad thing for any young man to lose his life, especially at a young age. I hate that things happen like this. People need to get themselves together and just do the right thing. You want to be a shooter? Join the military. No sense in acting a fool out here,” Kendall said.

Sheriff Davis said Simmons and Gerald Pennyman are in critical condition. Others shooting victims have non-life threatening injuries.

He says everyone at the block party is a witness and is asking for you to come forward with any information you may have.

If you do have any information that could lead to an arrest, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-877-68-CRIME. There is a $2,000 reward.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News, WMGT

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