DECATUR — Police in Decatur finished 2017 investigating the shootings of two men in a pair of incidents Sunday morning.
Each attack happened close to 5 a.m., and Decatur police Sgt. Brian Earles said investigators at this point do not know if the incidents were connected.
“I don’t want to speculate,” Earles said. “We are still investigating both of them.” He described both victims as being “less than cooperative” with detectives.
The most serious of the two incidents involved a 25-year-old man who was being treated at Decatur Memorial Hospital after being shot in the neck, police said. He told police he was walking on Grand Avenue, without being specific, when he was hit by a bullet.
“Amazingly, he is going to be just fine; he was extremely lucky,” Earles said.
The second victim was shot in the left shin and was treated at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, police said. Earles said the 35-year-old man told police he had been to a party at a house on South Oakland Avenue and had stepped outside when he was “jumped” by an unknown assailant and shot.
The twin shootings round out a year that has seen Decatur log 10 homicides, more than double the 2016 total and tied with 2011 for the most in the past decade.
Shooting incidents had already been on the rise in 2017 in Decatur. Statistics compiled by the Decatur Police Department are broken down into “attempts” to shoot someone and “hits,” when a person is struck by a bullet. Through Oct. 31, the latest month available, police had recorded 37 attempts and 45 hits, higher than 2016’s total of 34 attempts and 20 hits.
On Christmas Day, the city recorded its 10th homicide of the year when Marvin T. Murphy, 39, was shot to death. He was found by police in the 1600 block of North 32nd Street around 9:30 p.m. He was taken to Decatur Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m., Macon County Coroner Michael Day said. The case remains under investigation, and police have not yet made an arrest.
After the Murphy homicide, community leaders called for exploring solutions that included a blue-ribbon committee to study the surge in violence, greater sentences for those convicted of violent crimes, stricter gun laws and more community involvement.