It has been five years since Akeila Rochelle Martin was shot and killed outside a now-closed downtown club, but police are still seeking the person responsible.
Martin was shot around 2:50 a.m. Aug. 19, 2012, outside the then Platinum Lounge on Proctor and Walnut streets, across the street from the Statesboro Herald offices. Surveillance video shows the chaos that night as people scattered when gunfire rang out, leaving Martin lying in the parking lot.
“Officers of the Statesboro Police Department were on vehicle and foot patrol in the area when they heard multiple gun shots and rushed to the scene,” said Statesboro Police Community Information Specialist Madison Bridges. “There was a large crowd of 200 to 300 people in the parking lot when the incident occurred.”
Another victim, Sadondra Brianna Scarboro, was also injured and was transported to the hospital and treated for her injuries. A Statesboro resident originally from Screven County, Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. Five children, ages 9 to 15 at the time, were left without their mother after Martin’s murder.
Despite a $5,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrests and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Martin’s death, no one has stepped forward with information.
Newspaper carriers preparing to load their daily deliveries were outside the building when the shooting took place.
Eyewitnesses said a black male was talking to her seconds before shots rang out, but police said that although more than 100 people were interviewed after the shooting, there still is no clear description or identification of the gunman.
Surveillance video from the Statesboro Herald shows people gathered outside the club, talking and standing in the parking lot. A Statesboro police car rolls past, and seconds later, the video shows people scattering and running in all directions.
A reward is still being offered for information, Bridges said. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detective Keith Holloway at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911. Tips may also be submitted online at www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text “TIPSSPD” followed by the message 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, she said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.