A 25-year-old Milledgeville man is being sought in connection with at least two shootings in a little more than 24 hours, The Union-Recorder has learned.
Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord identified one of the suspects in the shootings as Abram Barnes.
Felony warrants have been issued against Barnes for six counts of aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the third degree, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.
The first of the shootings happened outside Hibbett Sports, located in the Town Central Shopping Center on North Columbia Street, Friday afternoon and later led to a three-vehicle crash on Garrett Way. The suspect in the shooting at the sporting goods store reportedly tried to carjack a vehicle fleeing the area of the crash on foot.
The second shooting incident, meanwhile, happened Saturday night between the occupants of two vehicles in a local neighborhood, authorities said.
No one reportedly was injured in either of the shootings, the latter of which was drive-by related and involved a car and a pickup truck.
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Keaunna Trice said in her report that she responded to a hit-and-run wreck at 135 Garrett Way about 3 p.m. last Friday.
The wreck involved a blue Toyota Corolla and a silver Honda Accord.
“Once on scene, the accident was determined to be a direct result from a shooting incident that the Milledgeville Police Department was working,” according to Trice’s report.
Since fleeing the scene of the crash, Barnes reportedly has been seen only once. That reportedly was Saturday night while riding in a vehicle with others involved in a shootout near Navicent Health Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville and nearby neighborhoods.
He is now the focus of an intensified search by officers and detectives with the Milledgeville Police Department, as well as deputies and detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshal’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.
“He’s (Barnes) the one we want for the shooting last Friday at Hibbett Sports,” Swicord told the newspaper in a telephone interview Monday morning. “And then we had a big shootout Saturday night. He was involved in that also.”
That shootout happened about 7 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Montgomery and Cobb streets.
“It was a riding shootout that went everywhere,” Swicord said. “The people in two different vehicles were riding all over the place shooting at one another. They started at Montgomery and Cobb [streets] and went all over that whole area, and back toward the Pecan Hills area.”
Swicord said police officers and detectives picked up more than 20 shell casings from two different guns, a 9 mm pistol and a .40-caliber pistol.
“We had witnesses telling us that the occupants in those two vehicles were definitely shooting at one another,” Swicord said.
The police chief said detectives were busy Monday attempting to find video surveillance footage that may have captured the two vehicles and the shootout.
The car was described as white, but witnesses could not provide other details. The other vehicle, meanwhile, was described as a pickup truck.
Swicord said police were able to link Barnes as one of the shooters in the drive-by case through witnesses.
Swicord said the shooting outside Hibbett Sports last Friday, as well as the drive-by Saturday night and the June 30 drive-by that wounded a 13-year-old in his home as he watched television all stem from the March 14 double-shooting at the Huddle House in downtown Milledgeville.
A local man was wounded inside the restaurant, while a second shooting in the parking lot of the restaurant took the life of 15-year-old Jamonte Solomon.
After the shootings at the Huddle House, 14 other drive-by shootings erupted within the city limits of Milledgeville and Baldwin County over a just a few hours that same weekend.
Authorities also said a house also was deliberately set afire and was directly linked to the murder and other shootings.
The police chief said last Friday, shortly before 3 p.m., that Barnes and another man got into a physical altercation inside the sporting goods store. The fight spilled into the parking lot and more than a dozen gunshots rang out.
Swicord said Barnes was believed to be the person who fired shots from a 9 mm pistol.
“We found more than a dozen shell casings at the scene,” Swicord said.
Barnes then got into his car and followed the suspect from the business.
Minutes later, the suspect and victim crashed on the 100 block of Garrett Way, where a third vehicle, an SUV, was also involved in the wreck.
Sgt. David Holland of the Georgia State Patrol post in Milledgeville was called to investigate the crash. Deputies and detectives with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office were first called to the scene because the crash happened in the county.
It was later learned that other crimes were associated with the wreck.
Two victims from the wreck reportedly were taken to the local hospital for treatment of injuries.
“We need to find Barnes and the other ones involved in these drive-by shootings before someone else gets hurt or killed,” Swicord said. “We want anyone who knows anything about his whereabouts or has any knowledge of these shootings whatsoever to call us.”
The Milledgeville Police Department tip line is 478-414-4413. The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office is 478-478-5102. Anyone can also call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.