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2 Sylvania men charged with murder
2 injured, 1 killed in back-to-back shootings

A Sylvania man is dead and two others injured after two apparently unrelated shootings on Lanier Drive Saturday night and Sunday morning. Two men were charged with murder in the fatal incident.

Statesboro police were still on the scene of the first shooting at Cambridge at Southern-The Pines Apartments when shots rang out again a short distance away, said Statesboro police Capt. Jared Akins. The second shooting incident was fatal.

Dexter Dunbar, 27, of Sylvania, died of gunshot wounds after an apparent quarrel near Stadium Walk Apartments, Akins said. Statesboro police later arrested two other Sylvania men, Brendyn Laroy Carter, 22, and Thomas Israel Cooper, 20, charging them both with Dunbar's murder.

Back-to-back gunfire

Police were already in the Lanier Drive area investigating the shootings at Cambridge at Southern-The Pines when the fatal shooting took place.

Lanier Drive is a mainly residential and commercial area adjacent to the Georgia Southern University campus, where a number of apartment complexes are located.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, police were dispatched to the scene and found two men suffering from gunshot wounds, Akins said. Air Evac also responded and both men were taken to Memorial Health hospital in Savannah.

"It appears as though an attempted home invasion led to an exchange of gunfire and the wounding of one of the apartment's tenants and one of the suspects who forced entry into the apartment," he said. 

The persons involved have not yet been identified, and charges are possible.

Then at approximately 1:47 a.m. Sunday, officers on the scene heard gunshots and were immediately dispatched to Stadium Walk "for a male shot inside of that complex," Akins said.

"Upon arrival, officers located the victim and rendered aid until EMS arrived," he said.

According to Bulloch County sheriff's reports, Deputy Adam Paquette also responded to the scene to assist. He used supplies and equipment from a medical bag kept in his patrol car to help stem the bleeding and also performed CPR until EMTs arrived.

But Dunbar did not survive after being taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Akins said.   

The incident response was a multi-agency effort, he said.

"During the course of this investigation, detectives received tremendous assistance from deputies of the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, officers of the Georgia Southern University Police Department, deputies with the Screven County Sheriff's Office, and investigators with the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit's District Attorney," Akins said. "We would like to thank all of these agencies for their help." 

Carter and Cooper remain in jail pending further judicial action. 

Anyone with information on this case should contact Detective Eric Short at (912) 764-9911. 

City Council attention

Statesboro City Councilman Derek Duke notified media organizations Sunday of a news conference, which he said would be held at noon Monday in the City Hall council chambers, about the shootings.

However, Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead informed the Statesboro Herald Monday morning that the SPD would not be involved in this conference.

Journalists from three Savannah television stations and the Herald showed up, but Duke was the only city official who entered the council room. District 2 Councilman Sam Lee Jones arrived a little later but remained in the hall and a side room.

"We are siding with our chief of police that everything that we have — because it's still two active investigations — should go through his department. I'm sorry," Duke told reporters.

He said he would like to say more, but could only say that police and city government are "managing it very well" and that the elected officials are concerned.

"We're very concerned that that would even happen because it's right in the center of what's near and dear to Statesboro, and that's Georgia Southern and the students that live in the surrounding Lanier Drive area," Duke said. "We are underway with some things that we cannot announce yet."

The locations of the shootings were not on the GS campus, but adjacent to the university.

Duke indicated that he was referring to some crime-prevention measures for the area. Both locations are in his district, he said, also describing the two apartment complexes as separated only by a fence.

Noting to Jones that the press conference was cancelled, the Herald asked if he had any comment.

"I look forward to the Police Department handling it," Jones said. "I think they're on top of it and they're investigating it right now, so at this point I don't know anything other to say other than I'm sorry for the fact that it happened. …"

Herald reporter Al Hackle contributed to this story.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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