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Two charged in July gunfire exchange
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Statesboro police and United States marshals captured two suspects involved in the exchange of gunfire that injured two bystanders last month.

Jaden Michael Smith of Lanier Drive and Kareem Levon Butler, of Hephzibah, were charged with aggravated assault in connection to an incident July 26 at Cambridge at Southern the Palms Apartments, said Statesboro Police Capt. Jared Akins.

That night, Statesboro police patrol officers responded to a report of “shots fired” at the apartment complex on Lanier Drive, and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, he said.

The injured man was taken to the hospital, and Statesboro Police detectives  began an investigation at the scene. They located witnesses and secured two apartments, which they searched after search warrants were obtained, he said.

“Minutes later, a second male subject arrived at East Georgia Regional for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds,” Akins said. “Officers determined that the second male had also been wounded during the altercation at the Cambridge.”

Neither victim suffered life-threatening injuries.“Subsequent investigation by detectives, aided greatly by multiple patrol officers, determined that the two wounded parties had not actually participated in the shooting,” he said.

Further investigation revealed a vehicle involved in the shooting had been left at Southern Downs Apartments on Georgia Avenue. It was later towed.  

The detectives determined Smith, 19, and Butler, also 19, were the ones who had exchanged shots, and the victims were caught in the crossfire. Police issued warrants for both Smith and Butler for aggravated assault and “various other offenses,” he said.

“The U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force was asked to assist in taking them into custody,” Akins said. Smith was later arrested in Macon, and Butler apprehended in Richmond County.  Both were transported back to the Bulloch County Jail where they remain without bond pending further judicial action, he said. 

Akins praised the detectives and officers involved in the case. “These arrests were the result of close cooperation between detectives, patrol officers, and our agency partners.”

Anyone with further information concerning this case is asked to contact Cross at 912-764-9911.  Anonymous tips may be made online as or by texting “TPSSPD” followed by your message to 274637 (CRIMES).


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




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