Statesboro police interviewed more than 50 people who were at the scene of a fatal shooting early Sunday morning, but conflicting reports have investigators still uncertain about the description of the shooter.
A $2,500 reward is offered for information leading to the shooter’s arrest and conviction, and authorities urge anyone with information to come forth.
Akeila Roschelle Martin, 32, of Statesboro, was killed when an unknown gunman fired at least four shots into the crowd outside Platinum Lounge around 2:50 a.m. Sunday. Another woman, Sadondra Brianna Scarboro, 21, of Sylvania, was wounded and remains in stable condition, said Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner.
The only confirmed description of the shooter is that he is a black male. A Statesboro Herald carrier, who was outside in her car when the shooting occurred, said she saw a black man wearing a black shirt speaking to Martin just before the shooting took place. The Statesboro Herald is located across the street from the club.
Martin was sitting on a car talking to the man in a black shirt seconds before the shots were fired, she said. The carrier, who asked to remain anonymous, said she saw the couple talking and looked away. When the shots rang out, she looked up and “the man was gone.” She saw Martin lying on the ground and people scattering, she said.
“We conducted 50 or more detailed interviews with witnesses and bystanders,” Turner said Tuesday. Investigators were given “conflicting information that we are trying to decipher.”
The parking lot outside the Platinum Lounge was crowded when the shots were fired. Platinum Lounge is located in the old Sears center in downtown Statesboro next to Walnut Street and across from the offices of the Statesboro Herald.
Surveillance video taken with Herald security cameras shows a police cruiser in the area seconds before shots were fired around 2:50 a.m. Sunday near the club.
Two eyewitnesses reported hearing four shots in quick succession, and in the aftermath, Martin was left dead with apparent gunshot wounds and Scarboro suffering from a gunshot wound.
Herald cameras outside the front of the office showed commotion in the parking area in front of Maxway, which is next to the club. Immediately after shots were fired, people scattered, running in all directions. Shortly afterward, however, many returned to the scene.
Turner said the investigation continues and he hopes someone will respond to the reward offered and come forth with information. Any information given will remain confidential, he said.
He would not comment on the victims' injuries when asked where the gunshot wounds were located. “We are not releasing that,” he said.
While the investigation is being conducted by Statesboro police, “all (other) law enforcement (agencies) are aware of this incident and are assisting as needed,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Statesboro police at (912) 764-9911.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.