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Police continue to investigate shooting deaths
Incidents occurred at off-campus apartments near GSU
Statesboro Police Department patch

Statesboro police are not yet releasing further information on the Nov. 4 shooting death of Forrest Kibler at Park Place Apartments, and they are still offering a cash reward for information about the murder of another man less than a month earlier at another apartment complex near the Georgia Southern University campus.

Kibler was found shot to death about 9:30 p.m. Friday at Park Place Apartments on Lanier Drive. No details of the shooting have been released.

A $1,500 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the Oct. 19 fatal shooting of Vernon Lamont Hunter, 24, of Derenne Avenue in Savannah, at Campus Crossings Apartments, also on Lanier Drive.

So far this year, there have been three murders in Statesboro, all at off-campus apartments near GSU. The third, the fatal shooting of Cedrick Quintez Wilkerson, 26, at Park Place Apartments on June 4, resulted in the arrest of Ronnie Jones Jr., 22, of Gentilly Drive.

Two other incidents also involved shooting-related deaths this year at apartment complexes near the campus, according to Statesboro police reports.

Antonio Sanchez, 23, was found with a gunshot wound Feb. 21 at Aspen Heights Apartments on Fair Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch. A woman, Allison Fleet, 23, also in the apartment was in critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds and was airlifted to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, reports stated.

On May 15, police responded to a possible murder/suicide at Connections Apartments on Stambuk Lane, where they found Jade Braddy, 17, a Metter High School student, and Ethan Alexander, 20, a GSU student, deceased from gunshot wounds.

In yet another shooting death, this time involving a Statesboro police officer, a man was found to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On Oct. 3, Statesboro police and other law enforcement agencies responded to a reported armed robbery and home invasion at the Campus Evolution Villages apartment complex on Statesboro Place Circle.

Shots were fired by Statesboro police officer Adam Paquette, but evidence showed that neither of the two shots he fired struck the suspect, Olajuwon James, 21, of Hinesville, said Bahan Rich, Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent-in-charge of the Statesboro Region 5 office. It was determined that James had shot himself before being captured, and Paquette, after hearing that shot, returned fire.

Local reaction to violence

With a growing concern about gun violence around the GSU off-campus area, local officials are discussing what can be done. Park Place in particular has been the scene of several gun-related deaths and shots-fired incidents over the past few years.

At the complex, there were two armed robberies in August, netting six arrests; eight arrested in June for involvement in a large fight; an assault on a woman, also in June; and an arrest in July after a gang-related attack, according to police reports.

Also in June, a teenager pled guilty to the shooting death of an innocent bystander during an August 2014 gang fight at the complex. Lester Parrish, 19, who admitted guilt in a documented confession the day after fatally shooting 46-year-old Eric Reese, pled guilty to felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. Turner handed down a sentence of life in prison for the felony murder charge and a sentence of 15 years, to be served concurrently, for the gang-related charge.

In June, Reese's family and friends approached the Statesboro City Council, seeking answers to Park Place's high crime rate. At the time, Statesboro police Deputy Chief Rob Bryan said that limited resources prevented officers from concentrating efforts to just one area.

The Statesboro Herald reported residents' concerns about the heavily populated, one-entry complex in which the apartments are owned individually by several owners. Most of the units are rented to tenants, not necessarily university students.

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



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