Another Senseless Killing: Should The Astro Club Close?

James Miles Jr.
Owner of Astro’s nightclub in
Americus, GA

Kent Jeffery Wimberly Jr.
Shooting victim at the Astro club

Staff Report,

Our community mourns the untimely and senseless death of Kent Jeffery Wimberly, Jr. 29, of 507 W. Church Street, Americus, GA. Wimberly was shot and killed outside the Astro Club, Sunday, Oct 8, 2017. Sumter County Coroner confirmed the young man was dead at the scene. His body was sent to the State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Sumter County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, Col. Eric Bryant told a local newspaper that authorities were called around 4:15 AM to the Astro Club at 153 Sunset Drive.

A reporter from the Americus Sumter Observer (ASO) spoke with Col. Bryant, and he said a suspect has been apprehended. Details were not given as of press time.

The Astro Club has been around over 40 years. James Miles Jr. owns the club which opens on weekends. A major problem with the club is that the owner lacks adequate security outside the club but he does have security inside of his club.

Our ASO reporter spoke with the Sumter County Sheriff’s office and was told that Mr. Miles needs four uniformed officers outside of the Club to create a safe environment.

We spoke with Mr. Miles and asked if he is thinking about closing the night club, he said, “He has run a clean business, he has followed all of the rules, he has security in and outside of the club, and he has been in business 40 years. He is very concerned about the number of people who bring guns to the area; and that is why we have these problems.”

“The latest victim at the Astro, Kent Wimberly, was a young man who was recently accepted into a radiology program at Albany State University. He has suffered with sickle cell disease all of his life. He graduated from Americus High School in 2007, and his future was looking very promising,” says John Marshall, MD, publisher of ASO.

Anyone can get killed anywhere, but the Astro Club has become too unsafe and very dangerous over the years. Kent was not the only victim; there is one other known death of 25 year old Richard Willis was shot by Braxton Brown, 18 years old in 2012. In that same incident, 20 year old Klinen Carswell was shot in the lower torso but survived. We have been told there have been numerous shootings over the years at the Astro.

“We can’t tell Mr. Miles how to run his business but with so many incidents and even deaths on his property, it can be very costly if legal action is pursued,” says Dr. Marshall, the publisher of the Americus Sumter Observer.