Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 23, 2024
Suspect Captured in Savannah Shootout, 11 Injured in Historic District MeleeSource: Unsplash/ David von Diemar

In a recent wave of violence that rocked Savannah's historic district, 20-year-old William Anthony Mitchell has been taken into custody for his alleged role in a shootout that left 11 injured in the bustling downtown square, WABE reported. Mitchell faces charges including four counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, a statement from the Savannah police detailed. WABE noted that authorities are on the hunt for several other persons of interest tied to the incident.

The episode of gunfire erupted late Saturday in Ellis Square, a hotspot amid a bevy of restaurants and bars frequented by tourists, following an argument between two women which escalated, causing multiple shooters to open fire, no deaths were reported despite the chaos, but 10 individuals were struck by bullets and another was injured by flying glass from a car window, Police Chief Lenny Gunther disclosed. After receiving treatment at a local healthcare facility, all those injured were released, said the police on Wednesday.

Mitchell, already embroiled in an unrelated case for felony possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, was out on bond that a judge had granted on April 18, per Chatham County State Court records. When reached for a statement, Mitchell's attorney, Greg Crawford, remained tight-lipped, telling WABE, "I don't know a whole lot about the facts yet."

This was not the only violent act to occur last weekend in Savannah, with five shootings reported in total, claiming two lives and leaving 14 injured; this is Savannah's worst mass shooting since June 2021 when a drive-by shooting at an apartment complex left one dead and seven injured—and in response to the tragedy and an increase in gun-related violence, Mayor Van Johnson has criticized lax Georgia gun laws, stating, "Only in America, and certainly only in Georgia, do we insist that guns have nothing to do with gun violence." Johnson earlier backed city initiatives aiming to make gun owners more responsible, including a recent measure barring firearms in unlocked vehicles, a law currently at odds with state regulations and the center of an ongoing legal battle, as reported by WABE.