Friday, September 30, 2016

Suspect arrested in Yamacraw shooting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police detectives arrested Wesley Biddings, 31, in connection to the earlier shooting that injured a man in the 400 block of Yamacraw Village Sept. 29.

Biddings is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

A second man was taken into custody after fleeing the scene of the shooting; however, his charges stem from disorderly conduct not directly related to the shooting.

Officers responded to a shooting that injured one adult male at approximately 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29.

The shooting victim was transported to Memorial University Medical Center with serious injuries.

"Area residents pointed police toward a male suspect who had fled the scene on foot and a second male suspect who fled to a nearby apartment. The suspect who fled on foot was quickly apprehended," police report.

"The second suspect entered an occupied apartment; officers were able to safely remove three children from the residence before apprehending the suspect," police say.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Suspect identified in shooting of mother and child

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 9:01 AM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police responded to a domestic shooting at approximately 4:30 p.m., Sept. 27, in the 700 block of Yamacraw Village, near the intersection of Fahm and Zubley Streets.

"The suspect, Iyontai Tovarise Walker, 22, is considered armed and dangerous. He is described as a black male, approximately 6-feet, 3-inches tall, and 190 pounds. He also has a distinctive tattoo on his neck, which reads 'BO$,'" police say.

The shooting victims are a 28-year-old female and her 8-year-old daughter. Both received serious, but non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Memorial University Medical Center. The mother and child are currently listed in stable condition.

"Overnight, detectives secured warrants for Walker’s arrest. He is wanted for two counts of aggravated assault, cruelty to children in the first degree, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Police release new statement on recent violence

Posted By on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police released a remarkable statement Saturday afternoon in response to the recent uptick in armed robberies and homicides. Following is the full statement:

"The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr. have made public pleas to the community three times in the past month (August 22, 2016, September 6, 2016 and September 23, 2016) addressing robberies, shootings and homicides as well as asking those with information to step forward and help put these violent offenders behind bars where they cannot continue to hurt people.

"In August Chief Lumpkin offered with the support of the Mayor and Council a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a perpetrator in any open homicide investigation. As we all know, the overwhelming majority of victims are African Americans and that $10,000 is being offered to solve those cases, and all homicides, to provide justice for the victims and their families.

"Earlier this month after six African-American men were shot over the Labor Day holiday weekend Chief Lumpkin and the Violent Crimes Unit detectives addressed the public.

"Homicide detective sergeant Hiram Rivera said, 'I am proud to stand next to these men and women who are relentlessly pursuing justice for the victims of violence within our community. There are more good guys than bad guys. Please help us get these violent, gun-carrying criminals off the street. We have too many people who are being shot and too many people are being killed.'

"Men and women of the SCMPD are on the front lines in all of our neighborhoods attempting to prevent violence and secure justice for all victims.

"On Friday, the Chief again asked the public for information that will help lock up the group and gang members who are robbing people at gun point: in front of their homes, on sidewalks, leaving restaurants and bars or walking home after work. This week's goal of requesting the Georgia State Patrol to add additional areas of patrols in Savannah-Chatham is to put a larger police presence on streets where the vast majority of street robberies and - recently, street shootings involving robberies - have occurred. That area of concern is larger than the Historic District. The SCMPD does not determine police services along racial or economic lines. The SCMPD's goal is to prevent more people from getting hurt or killed.

"While it is true that a vast majority of our overall shootings are the result of risky behavior; certainly this is not true for all shootings victims. Chief Lumpkin has said that publicly numerous times. He has also said that a family member who is group or gang involved may raise the risk to other family members by 900%! But the SCMPD does not blame victims!

"In the past two years we have had men, women and children of all races gunned down senselessly. None of our homicide victims deserved to die. However, those responsible for the murders deserve to be brought to justice.

The shooting and violence has to stop – period."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Georgia State Patrol to provide assistance in fighting 'group/gang involved' armed robberies and shootings

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Thursday afternoon, SCMPD Chief Joseph "Jack" Lumpkin filed a request for assistance from the Georgia State Patrol to assist in patrolling additional streets

"The request was made in relation to the stranger-to-stranger armed robberies that have occurred on our sidewalks and streets," the Chief says.

This includes the fatal shooting of a Savannah resident during a failed armed robbery attempt on Sep. 21 and the shooting and attempted armed robbery of victims at 39th and Bull Streets on Sep. 19.

"The Georgia State Patrol has agreed to assign resources to help us combat these violent offenders. As you know, we classify any criminal conduct that involves three or more people as being group/gang involved and group violence. Certainly, this week’s two subject crimes-one in Precinct 2 and the other in Precinct 3, were ‘group/gang’ involved," says Chief Lumpkin.

"We want to bring these robbers, shooters, repeat gun violators and killers to justice. That is true for anyone who is creating fear and harming people in any part of our jurisdiction. Our officers have increased patrols, undercover operations and investigations to identify who we believe are a group of perpetrators who are plaguing pedestrians traveling on our sidewalks during the hours of late evening to early morning," says the Chief.

"I want to thank the Georgia State Patrol for providing force-multiplying resources to help keep this community safer. Additionally, SCMPD is redirecting other personnel and technology to address armed robberies and shootings throughout a designated area of concern, which is obviously larger than the Historic District. Again, we are asking the public to step forward with information about any of our open shooting, robbery or homicide investigations. As you know, making this community safer is a shared responsibility between the police and our citizenry,” said Chief Lumpkin.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

SCMPD majors issue statement on recent robbery/shootings

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 5:28 PM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division majors made these remarks about recent armed robbery shootings and homicides in Savannah:

“SCMPD is redirecting personnel and technology to address armed robberies and shootings. We are also requesting additional state law enforcement resources to increase visibility and improve public safety. Again, we are asking the public to step forward with information about any of our open shooting, robbery and homicide investigations. Making this community safer is a shared responsibility,” said Patrol Operations Major Kerry Thomas.

“Violent crimes detective continue to work around the clock to chase down leads and make arrests in these cases and have taken on additional visibilities roles,” said Criminal Investigations Division Major Richard Zapal.

Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin hasn't issued a public statement as of this writing. 

Tourism Leadership Council issues statement on murder of gallery owner

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 1:43 PM

The president/CEO of the Tourism Leadership Council, Michael Owens, issued the following statement on the murder of Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery owner Kevin Reid last night as he was walking with his wife on Waldburg Street.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share very sad news with you today. Kevin Reid, active TLC member and Broughton Street business owner, was murdered last night.

"Kevin was walking on East Waldburg Street with his wife at about 9:45 last night when they were approached by at least three suspects. He was shot and later succumbed to his wounds on the way to the hospital. His was the 42nd murder on the streets of Savannah this year.

"One of the suspects was described as a black male of a medium complexion, wearing a light colored bandanna over his face. The other two suspects were also black males, however of an unknown description.

"Kevin owned The Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery, was an engaged member of the TLC, a proud citizen of Savannah, and a highly regarded member of our tourism family. We are all deeply saddened by this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family."

Man killed while walking on Waldburg

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Metro Police detectives responded to a shooting that claimed the life of Kevin Reid, 54, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Sept. 21, in the 400 block of East Waldburg Street, stemming from an armed robbery attempt. 

"The victim was walking with his wife in the area when they were approached by at least three male suspects. Reid was shot and succumbed to his injuries in route to the hospital," police say.

"One of the suspects was described as a black male of a medium complexion, wearing a light colored bandanna over his face. The other two suspects were also black males, however of an unknown description."

The homicide is Savannah's 42nd of the year. 

This case remains under investigation. Anyone with any information should contact the SCMPD tip line by dialing (912) 525-3124.

Information may also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

SWAT training happens downtown today

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s SWAT Team will conduct extensive training from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 22, at 220 East Bryan Street.

"The training will be conducted to enhance SWAT’s capabilities to rapidly respond to a multiple level building and effectively resolve a hostage, barricaded gunman or active shooter situation," says a spokesperson.

There will a heavy police presence in the area throughout the day, "with helicopters flying from Hutchinson Island to the training location to practice officer insertion onto the rooftop. SWAT members will also rappel from the roof of the East Bryan Street building," police say.

Safety Officers will be in place at each training location to oversee the operation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

GHS to dedicate marker commemorating Savannah Protest Movement

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM

The Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a new historical marker this Friday, September 23, in Savannah. The Marker will commemorate the Savannah Protest Movement, a pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia.

"The Savannah Protest Movement historical marker tells the story of the struggle to end segregation in Savannah, led by African-American students and community leaders in the early 1960s," a GHS spokesperson says.

“The Civil Rights movement is a watershed event in American history and at the heart of the American story,” said Dr. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

“Recognizing the Savannah Protest Movement and the people and events that led to desegregation in Georgia’s First City is a testament to what the human spirit can achieve under even the most difficult of circumstances.”

The Georgia Historical Society partnered with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Hodge Foundation and Savannah College of Art and Design.

Speakers for the event will include Dr. Groce; Carolyn Quilloin Coleman, and Joan Tyson Hall, two of the first students arrested in Savannah; former Mayor Edna Jackson, Paula Wallace, President of SCAD, and former Mayor Otis Johnson. There will also be an exhibition performance by SCAD alumnus Masud Olufani.

The events will begin at 10:00 a.m. with Visionary Voices, a program inside The Trustees Theater, 216 East Broughton Street in Savannah, followed immediately by the marker unveiling across Broughton street at SCAD’s Jen Library, former site of Levy’s department store. This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Amy Schumer show canceled

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Comedian Amy Schumer has canceled her planned Oct. 13 performance in Savannah, due to "scheduling conflicts," according to her website. Refunds available at the Civic Center. 

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