VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - The suspect believed to be responsible for Friday’s fatal shooting and armed robbery at a Vidalia clothing store went before a judge Monday morning.
The Toombs County Sheriff’s Office arrested 29-year-old Tyrone Burns around 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
Burns is accused of walking into RJ Pope Traditional Menswear around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon and robbing the store at gunpoint. During the robbery, he shot and killed the store manager who has been identified as 31-year-old Brooke Joiner.
Burns formally heard the charges against him during Monday’s court session. Judge Kathy Palmer read out the charges of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and more. Burns showed little emotion as the judge explained the court process. Prosecutors then informed the court Burns has a criminal record 40 pages long from Florida, and still faces charges there.
“He is out now on a release for those felony charges in Florida,” said Assistant District Attorney, Jessica Wilson. “He has one arrest cycle here in Georgia from a criminal trespass in September of this year.”
Local police, sheriff’s deputies, GBI, and others searched the area Friday night into Saturday morning. Sheriff Alvie Kight spotted Burns walking down the street.
“I started talking to him and asked him his name. He gave me a name, then he hesitated like he had to come up with a last name,” Sheriff Kight said.
He handcuffed Burns and called for backup. Prosecutors said they would consider the possibility of seeking the death penalty for this case. That news drew Burns' only show of emotion.
Community members are shaken up and are taking steps to show support to Joiner’s family. Several businesses are teaming up to make bows to show support. Tricia Davis says the idea started Friday night, just hours after the tragedy.
“We started making bows on Saturday, ran out of ribbon,” Davis said. “Got more ribbon on Monday, made 164 bows yesterday, ran out of ribbon until we got more this morning.”
Davis is taking donations of any size for the bows. The money goes into a fund for the young son Joiner left behind. Customers like Tricia Rowe say seeing the ribbons everywhere sends a message to the Joiner family.
“This community, as a whole, feels their pain and is coming together to support them and are here for them,” Rowe said.
They want people to focus on the victim as much as the suspect. They want the family to see the positive of small town life.
“When one person in your community is hurt, the whole community feels that pain,” Davis said.
Tricia says they’ll keep making the bows until they run out of requests or run out of ribbon.
We’ll keep you updated as the case develops.