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Metter murder suspect sought

Two shot; one recovering

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Metter murder suspect sought

Akeem Lanier

                     Warrants were issued Monday for the arrest of a suspect in Saturday's shooting in Metter that left one man dead and another injured.
        Akeem Ajima Lanier of Metter is wanted for the murder of James Edward Butler Jr., who resided in both Metter and Swainsboro, said Joshua Ayer, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of Statesboro's Region 5 Georgia Bureau of Investigation office.
        Metter police asked for GBI assistance after responding around 12:30 a.m. Saturday to a home at 820 Hodges Street in Metter, responding to reports of a man being shot, said interim Metter Police Chief Rob Shore.
        Police arrived at the scene to find Butler, 27, dead at the scene, a victim of a single gunshot wound, he said.
        Another man, Byron Brown, 28, Metter, also was shot. He was air-lifted to Savannah for medical treatment, Ayer said. It is unclear who shot Brown, as both the 29-year-old Lanier and Butler had guns, Shore said.
        "They were acquaintances, and mutual combatants," he said. "There was some sort of a fight, or struggle, and they both (Butler and Lanier) had guns."
        An autopsy performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah confirmed Butler died of the single gunshot wound. Brown underwent surgery and was recovering in stable condition Monday, suffering from a broken femur, he said.
        The case remains under investigation and further charges may be pending, Ayer said.
        The GBI is asking for anyone with information about the incident or who knows Lanier's whereabouts, to please contact the GBI at (912) 871-1121 or the Metter Police Department at (912) 685-5437.
        Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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