Four local teenagers shot in five days
Unfortunately, this has been the summer of youth gun violence here in Milledgeville and Baldwin County.
Last month, a 16-year-old boy and his puppy were both shot while walking in the Grandview Drive/Duplex City neighborhood.
Last Tuesday, meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy was shot at point blank range, also in Duplex City. That victim subsequently had surgery on his spinal cord and may never walk again.
Early Sunday morning, gunfire broke out at a teen party on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and two people were hit – one 14 and one 18. The 18-year-old, identified as Derquavious Kier, is listed in critical but stable condition.
Then, there was Saturday afternoon, when law enforcement responded en masse to the R&M Food Mart and Dollar General on Irwinton Road. The security video from the incident is clear, according to Maj. Brad King with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. Latavian Hogan, 18, is accused of shooting Alonzo Choice III, 17, in the abdomen right beside the front door of the R&M Mart. No words were spoken between the two prior to the shooting, and "it all happened extremely quickly," according to King.
"Choice was parked at the Dollar General and walked over to the convenience store. As Choice went to enter the store, Hogan pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired one shot," King said.
Hogan then jumped in a gray Nissan Altima and began to flee the scene, but not before Choice fired off several shots at the car as he was limping back towards the Dollar General. King said that Choice's handgun "was not visible in the (security video) and "it certainly appears that Hogan is the one who pulled a gun first."
The same Altima then was involved in a hit-and-run in the 1560 block of the Vinson Highway. Several hours then elapsed, which is when the Sheriff's Office received a "Flock hit" on the Altima as it was traveling through the middle of town. The Flock Safety cameras were rolled out by the Sheriff's Office last summer and include both video and license plate reader technology.
A chase began around the intersection of Hancock and Elbert streets before continuing south, but law enforcement eventually lost sight of the vehicle. Hogan ultimately ran the stop sign at the intersection of South Jefferson Street and the Vinson Highway, causing another wreck. A passenger in the Altima – Dwayne Russell, 17 - got out following the wreck and began running towards Elbert Street, where he was surrounded and arrested near Terry's Auto Clinic and the Shrimp Boat. Russell was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by someone under 18 and one count of misdemeanor obstruction of an officer.
Hogan, meanwhile, continued driving the Altima following the wreck and made it to his house on Irwinton Road. He eventually was booked after being treated and released from Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and is charged with one count of aggravated assault and a laundry list of traffic charges.
Hogan is no stranger to law enforcement. He was arrested last summer and charged with multiple counts of entering auto, simple battery, obstruction/hindering a 911 call and possession of a handgun by a person under 18.
"We put in some good work on Saturday. The communication between our patrol division and our detective division, I was very proud of everyone," King said. "We also had some help from the (Georgia) State Patrol, the (Milledgeville Police Department) and the (Georgia College Police Department. Fortunately, we had some really good video and were able to get it resolved on the same day."