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Home Video Captures Victim of Shooting

Neighborhood Residents Concerned

Residents of the southern side of Vidalia had an eventful night on Monday, January 9, as a shooting occurred on one street and left a victim running for help through the neighborhoods.

Residents near the intersection of East Eighth Street and Green Street reported seeing two males walking through the streets before hearing shots at around 10:36 p.m. The Vidalia Police Department was dispatched to the scene where they discovered no suspects or victims, but found several spent shell casings.

A private home security camera audio on Pinecrest Drive recorded the sound of 16 shots being fired at 10:28 p.m. Approximately two to three minutes after the shots were recorded, a man was captured on the camera’s video in the yard of the Pinecrest Drive home, one block from where the shooting occurred. The person in the video continued from page

was grabbing his chest and groaning, and there was a blood trail in the driveway of the residence.

A 12:59 a.m., Tuesday, police responded to reports of an injured male on the front porch of a home on West Tenth Street, an eighth of a mile south from where the video captured the victim walking across the yard of the Pinecrest Drive residence. Upon arrival at the scene, officers found Dennis Dominique Durden, 33, of Vidalia, to be suffering from four gunshot wounds. Durden was transferred to Memorial Health Meadows Hospital by ambulance before being flown to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. He remains in stable condition at press time.

VPD Investigator Roger Calloway said that the Department is working to follow leads and is awaiting the ability to speak with Durden to determine a suspect. In the meantime, this event has conjured concerns from the public, who are worried about the safety of the neighborhood.

“Having to clean up my rug the next day [after the shooting] from a man bleeding out on your front porch is very disturbing,” said one witness, who discovered Durden after hearing muffled moaning noises that resembled “help me” from a bedroom window. “After reading several comments on Facebook when the police made the press release, it became very evident how there have been multiple shootings on Green Street. It is very concerning.”

Another individual, a rental property owner in the neighborhood, shared their thoughts. “It seems like I consistently receive notices from the City on making sure I do not violate any codes, but yet there is no enforcement to make sure that people aren’t shooting each other. It’s very frustrating.”

The incident took place in City Councilwoman Jennifer Evans’ ward, only hundreds of feet from her home. When asked what her plans were to help ensure safety in this area, she commented, “I am working closely with the city manager to support the Vidalia Police Department to address all public safety incidents. The VPD works hard to patrol all areas routinely and keep citizens safe. New street lighting has been installed and we are currently researching other avenues to address crime.”

Evans also ensured that though the police department is not fully staffed at the moment, officials are working to gain a full roster of officers. “Recruitment and retention is a top priority, as evidenced by the new hourly pay rates that were implemented last week. In addition to the increased pay, other measures are being examined to assist with hiring more officers.”

An arrest has not been made in this incident, and police are continuing to investigate.

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