A shooting suspect remained at large Monday evening following an hours-long search by law enforcement using tracking dogs and a helicopter.
The suspect, described by police as a black man in his early 20s, medium build, standing around 5' 10" and weighing about 160 pounds, shot a Park Avenue man who came home around noon Monday to find the suspect burglarizing his home, said Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner.
Freddie Dean Brinson, 59, was airlifted to a Savannah hospital, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Police did not release Brinson's condition Monday.
Brinson "returned home at approximately 12 p.m. (Monday) and interrupted a burglary in progress," Turner said. "The suspect shot Brinson and fled the residence on foot."
A search led police to the area around Gentilly Road, S&S Greenway and Howard Lumber Company, according to reports transmitted over police radio. However, as of late Monday, the suspect had not been found.
The suspect was wearing a gray hoodie, black shirt and dark or brown pants at the time of the shooting, he said. According to a Nixle alert posted by Statesboro Police, the suspect may still be armed. Police did not release information about the type of firearm used in the shooting.
Brinson, a former construction teacher at Statesboro High School, was transported to East Georgia Regional Medical Center by EMS and later flown to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.
Brinson is a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award recipient from 2003 and he was involved in helping construct homes for Habitat for Humanity.
He was named the Statesboro High Teacher of the Year for 2001-2002.
Statesboro Police, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Southern University Police Department, State Probation/Parole and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources assisted in a search of the area, Turner said.
"Several members of the community observed the suspect in the area and provided witness statements and descriptive information," he said.
The case is still under investigation, and "no further information is being released at this time," Turner said.
Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Statesboro Police Det. Kevin Weatherly at (912) 764-9911. They also may submit information anonymously to www.tipsoft.com. Texts may be sent ("TIPSSPD" followed by the message) to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, he said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.