By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Report: Teen shot in park fights for life
2 suspects denied bond, police seek 1
Myron Eugene Johnson - photo by FILE
    A teenager still fights for his life after a March 10 shooting at Luetta Moore Park, and two of four suspects arrested were denied bond Tuesday. Police still seek a suspect they say actually did  the shooting.
    Gregory Lee Wallace, 15, suffered multiple gunshot wounds during what police say was a gang-related attack, and has had one leg amputated at the hip, said Statesboro Police Det. Ken Scott Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for the case.
    After a request by  Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Jarriel to deny bond based on concern that the suspects could intimidate witnesses, Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. Turner denied bond for two of the four suspects in custody; Reginald Hagins, 18, Harvey Wilson Road, Portal, and  Myron Eugene Johnson, 17, Lindsay Court.
    Two other suspects are juveniles and face similar court hearings at a later date. Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of Dante Ravon Williams, 17,  who remains at large.
    Further arrests are possible as the investigation continues, Scott said.
    Scott said during  Tuesday’s hearing Williams is believed to be the suspect who fired one of two guns suspected gang members had in their possession during the shooting incident, which spawned from an arranged fight between two local gangs — “The Squad,” also known as “The Soldier Squad,” and “The Bottom Boys,” also known as “The Fast Lane.”
    Jarriel said the case is expected to be sent to grand jury in early May.
    Hagins is charged with  aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and participation in criminal gang activity. Johnson is charged with  aggravated battery, aggravated assault,  participation in criminal gang activity, and  giving false statements to police officers.
     Scott said in Johnson’s initial statement he denied being at the park during the shooting, but later admitted being involved, stating he had been afraid to admit being there, he said.
    The two juveniles in custody are being held at the Claxton Regional Youth Detention Center. One of the 16-year-old males is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, carrying a concealed weapon and participation in a criminal street gang.
    The second 16-year-old male is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, giving false statements to police officers and participation in a criminal street gang.
After-school fight
    Scott told the court how he arrived at the scene around 8:25 p.m. March 10 about the same time Bulloch County EMS arrived, and saw 20-year-old Gregtavian Wallace lying on the ground bleeding from his leg. He said he could not see 15-year-old Gregory Wallace’s injuries due to EMT’s treating him, but said the juvenile victim was not conscious.
    Scott said the victims were surrounded by a crowd of people who witnessed the shooting, including Garrett Taylor, a third victim who suffered a grazing wound. All  three victims are brothers, he said.
    Scott testified about witness statements regarding the shooting, and said the incident stemmed from an argument earlier that day at school where another juvenile brother of the victims told his cousin, an alleged gang member,  “he didn’t care about his Squad.”
    Then the cousin, also a juvenile,  said “his Squad was going to ‘do’ them,” Scott said.
    The suspects in the shooting were involved with the “Squad,” while the victims were connected to “The Bottom Boys,” he said.
    But Gregory Wallace’s mother, Keisha Taylor, denied her sons were involved in a gang.
    “They (members of The Squad) wanted them to be in a gang and they said no,” she said. Gang members harassed Gregory Wallace’s older brother, age 16, at school and got angry when he said he wasn’t interested, she said.
    As a matter of fact, Gregory Wallace wasn’t even involved in the arguments — he was “just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
    Taylor said there is no “Bottom Boys” gang — it’s just a group of family members.
    “Police say it is a gang, calling it a gang, but they are just family,” she said.  “Those boys just hang together.”
    The tension between the two groups began at The Tremble Club in Brooklet, Scott said. Arguments stemmed from a member of one group “stepping on the shoes” of another; showing disrespect, and over girls, he said.
    After the argument continued at school, a fight between the two groups was arranged to take place later at the park, he said.
    Several people, including Johnson, met at a Roundtree Street residence to plan the fight, he said witnesses told him. One witness gave statements that he and others were “ chilling and smoking weed” with ‘The Squad’ members before going to the park for the fight, Scott said.
    Scott related how he communicated with Wallace at the hospital by writing, since the teen “ could not speak.” He is on a ventilator and on dialysis due to his injuries, he said.
    Gregory Wallace confirmed, through written communication, that Hagins and Johnson were present during the shooting, Scott said.
Teen critical, not responding
     Scott told the court Tuesday Wallace “had just been sent back to emergency surgery” that morning and was still listed in “ very critical condition.”
    “He has been in Shock Trauma ( at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta) the entire time since the shooting and has been returned to the operating room several times” during his stay.
    The teen’s leg was amputated at the hip because doctors could not save it, as the “ tissue was dying,” he said.
    Taylor, speaking via cell phone as she waited at the Medical College of Georgia for her son to recover from surgery, said Wallace “had a set-back” Friday and was not responding to treatment and visitors. He has kept a fever, she said, but added his kidneys have begin to show signs of recovery.
    A fundraiser car wash last week, organized by local youth James Hicks, 17, who knows Wallace, netted about $1,050, said Hicks’  mother, Gayla Donaldson.
    The efforts by local  youth who know Wallace took place at Donaldson Square on Martin Luther King Boulevard, she said. “ We had a lot of support and donations.” The money was placed in a fund set up at First Southern National Bank, the Gregory Wallace Fund, she said.
    Love offerings have also been taken at church, and  the public is invited to the Historical First African Baptist Church Sunday, where services begin at 11 a.m. and another love offering will be collected for the Wallace family, she said.
    Other fund raisers are in the planing stage to help the family she said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414. 
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter