Statesboro police officers were quick to act just after midnight Saturday, stopping two groups of men fleeing after shots were fired near a Lanier Drive bar.
Two men were arrested — Damien Sharrod Barrett, 29, and Ja'shaad Durrell Calhoun, 22 — said Madison Warren, Statesboro police community information specialist.
Around 12:35 a.m. Sunday, officers were parked in a Georgia Avenue lot, doing paperwork, when they heard "what sounded like multiple shots fired in the 100 block of Lanier Drive," she said.
They investigated, driving to the area of The Hangout, a local bar and grill, and saw a man with a gun "run across Lanier Drive from the direction of The Hangout Bar and Grill and enter a vehicle in a Georgia Southern dorm parking lot."
There were three people in the car, and they all complied with orders to get out of the car. When they did, officers saw the first man, later identified as Barrett, throw the gun into a wooded area.
"The firearm was recovered and came back as stolen when officers ran the serial number," she said.
Upon further investigation, officers determined Barrett had been the one to fire shots during an incident at The Hangout.
While some officers were dealing with the first group of men, others stopped another vehicle with four people trying to leave the area, Warren said.
One man, later identified as Calhoun, had prescription drugs in his possession illegally and was carrying a firearm at the time, she said. Calhoun was arrested on scene without incident.
Barrett, of Pooler, is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a gun and one count of felony theft by receiving stolen property. Calhoun, of Cobbtown, is charged with possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, and possession of prescription drugs not in original container.
Both were taken to the Bulloch County Jail to await further court hearings.
"Fortunately no one suffered gunshot injuries as a result of this incident," Warren said.
Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead praised the officers.
"The responding officers in this incident did an excellent job of swiftly and safely taking control of the situation and identifying the suspect," he said. "Violent acts like this simply cannot be tolerated in a civil society. This casual disregard for the safety of other members of our community is disturbing.
"I am incredibly proud of our patrol officers who responded immediately, identified a suspect and took him into custody without injury or harm to officers or suspects. This is professional policing at its finest."
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.