Statesboro police are offering a reward for information regarding a fatal shooting overnight Sunday that left one woman dead and another wounded.
The identities of both victims were not immediately available Sunday, and Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said the identities may not be available until Tuesday because of the ongoing investigation and pending notification of family members.
According to witnesses, a large crowd was outside the Platinum Lounge on Proctor Street, next to Maxway and across the street from the Statesboro Herald offices, when the shooting occurred.
Statesboro Herald surveillance video shows a police cruiser in the area seconds before shots were fired around 2:50 a.m. near the club. Two eyewitnesses reported hearing four shots in quick succession, and in the aftermath, a 32-year-old Statesboro woman was left dead with apparent gunshot wounds. A second woman, 22, also of Statesboro, suffered a gunshot wound.
Video surveillance cameras outside the Statesboro Herald office on Proctor Street showed commotion in the parking area in front of Maxway. Immediately after shots were fired, people scattered, running in all directions. Shortly afterward, however, many returned to the scene.
An eyewitness was collecting papers for delivery when the shooting occurred.
"She (the unidentified victim) was sitting on the back of her car. I heard four shots and she went to the ground," the witness said. "There had been a guy in front of her in a black shirt, and he was gone (immediately after the shots were fired). This was too close for comfort."
Another carrier, Jerry Ranew, said he pushed his wife to safety behind his car when he heard the shots. Suddenly, several others who fled for safety hid behind his car, too.
After the shots, "people fled like roaches when the light is turned on," he said. "Cops were in the parking lot, sitting right there (several yards away from where the shootings occurred) when it happened."
Officers were called to the club earlier that night in response to an argument in the crowd, Ranew said.
Statesboro police routinely monitor the crowds during gatherings at Platinum Lounge, and in the past, shootings and other physical attacks have occurred when officers were in the vicinity, according to reports.
After the shooting occurred, police arrived at the scene and cordoned off the parking lot of the shopping center and Proctor Street for several hours.
Statesboro police Detective Keith Holloway, the lead investigator in the homicide and aggravated assault case, said a $2,500 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911 or send information to www.tipsoft.com or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.