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Published on May 24, 2024
Suspected Gunman Nabbed in Chaotic Savannah Mass Shooting; Mayor Urges for Gun Reform Amidst Legal BattleSource: Unsplash/ benjamin lehman

The historic district of Savannah, Georgia, was disrupted by a mass shooting last weekend, resulting in 11 injuries as gunfire erupted in the bustling tourist hub of Ellis Square, according to the Savannah Police Department. William Anthony Mitchell, a 20-year-old suspect, faces charges including four counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, as the police continue their hunt for multiple persons of interest, the department detailed in a statement.

Following an altercation between two women, witnesses were shocked as what started as a single shot led to a chaotic exchange of gunfire amongst assailants, this information provided by Police Chief Lenny Gunther. On the night that saw the violence unfold, bystanders in the nightlife district filled with eateries and bars were caught in the chaos, though, thankfully, no fatalities were reported; however, 10 individuals were hit by bullets and one other was injured by shattered glass, as reported by Voice of America News.

Mitchell was already facing unrelated felony charges for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute before his recent arrest and had been released on bond from the Chatham County jail on April 18, as revealed by court records. His attorney, Greg Crawford, refrained from commenting saying, "I don’t know a whole lot about the facts yet," in a brief interaction over the phone.

Savannah's Mayor Van Johnson identified the prevalence of guns and lax local gun laws as contributing factors to the outbreak of violence; he has endorsed city ordinances aimed at ensuring gun owners uphold responsibility, a stance that clashes with Georgia's Attorney General, Chris Carr, who has argued that a recent measure conflicting with state law which restricts local governments from regulating firearm carriage, only in America and certainly only in Georgia do we insist that guns have nothing to do with gun violence, Johnson remarked in a press event. Amidst this legal turmoil, Johnson remains adamant about the enforcement of the local gun regulation, which currently faces a lawsuit in the Chatham County Superior Court.