SPARTA, Ga. — A 22-year-old Sparta man and a teenager have been arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in connection with the shooting that left one man dead and six others wounded during a birthday party in Hancock County on Sunday, Sept. 6.
Two other persons also have been taken into custody, but the charges against them are not directly related to the shooting, authorities say.
Agents with the GBI Region 6 Office in Milledgeville, which is led by Mary H. Chandler, special agent in-charge, took a 15-year-old into custody last Sunday on an aggravated assault charge, according to a press release Thursday afternoon.
The teen’s name was not released because he is considered a juvenile.
Two days later, another arrest was made for aggravated assault.
That suspect was identified as Shimu Arkevious Donte Bryant, of Sparta.
On the day of the shooting, two other people also were arrested. They were identified as Tiffany Barfield, 31, and Tiare El Chambers, 31, both of Gordon in Wilkinson County. They were both charged with giving false statements to a law enforcement officer, according to the GBI press release.
The three adults were taken to the Hancock County Law Enforcement Center in Sparta where they were jailed.
The party, which was being held for a Sparta man who was celebrating his 30th birthday, turned tragic shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 6.
A barrage of gunfire erupted in the Central Village Community, just outside the city limits of Sparta. More than 100 people in attendance at the party began taking cover anywhere they could.
Some of them crawled underneath cars and trucks, while others ran and took cover in the yards of nearby residences, witnesses told The Union-Recorder a few hours after the shooting.
The shooting claimed the life of 33-year-old Sabreal Meshae Taylor, of Sparta.
Sabreal and his twin brother, Sebreal Taylor, went to the birthday party after getting off work at Central Park restaurant in Sparta.
Sebreal Taylor told the newspaper that he and his brother were close.
“He was just an innocent bystander,” Sebreal said of his deceased brother, who reportedly was shot in the back of the head and left shoulder.
An autopsy was performed at the GBI Crime Laboratory in Decatur earlier this week, but the results of it still were pending Friday.
He was pronounced dead at the scene several hours after the shooting by Hancock County Deputy Coroner Tonya Thurmond.
The shooting spree also left two people critically wounded, and four other people with gunshot wounds less life-threatening, authorities said.
Those six people were taken by ambulances to four different hospitals — Navicent Health Baldwin in Milledgeville; Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton; Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens; and The Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon.
Three of the wounded victims were from Milledgeville.
They were identified as Catavius Reeves, Johnny Chapple, 35, and Shanerica Chester, 28.
The other four wounded victims were identified as: Thomas Womble Jr., 29, of Sparta; Ga’Keylo Gaynor, 24, of Tennille; and Ramon Lewis, 37, of Covington.
Reeves remained in critical condition Thursday afternoon, according to the GBI.
Through the press release, Chandler said the shooting investigation is ongoing and they are seeking the help of anyone who may have witnessed any portion of it or who have other information that might be helpful to call the GBI Region 6 Office in Milledgeville at 478-445-4173; or the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office at 706-444-7471.