Neighbors, Police Shocked by Murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/29/05

Neighbors, Police Shocked by Murder

Fred Gleason's new house. Fred Gleason's new house.

Police are calling Savannah's latest murder a senseless crime. It happened in the Ardsley Park neighborhood at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Reynolds Street around 8pm last night.

Police say 64-year-old Fred Gleason was shot in front of his home. Witnesses tell police two men got out of a dark-colored car, and asked for Gleason's keys. Gleason gave up his keys, but he was shot and killed anyway.

Police say it looks like a random attack. The motive may have been a carjacking, but the end result was a brutal murder.

Detectives are trying to make sense of a beautiful Ardsley Park home surrounded by crime scene tape. Gleason, the new owner, was shot and killed right out front.

Police say his wife Anne witnessed the whole thing.

"Mrs. Gleason was sitting in the car when Mr. Gleason was approached by two young black males," said Capt. Larry Branson. "They demanded either his keys or his money. Without any incident he handed over this keys, didn't resist in any way. At that point they shot him in the head, got in their car and drove away.

"It's absolutely horrible," he added. "It's unthinkable that anything like that can happen in this community."

Neighbors were saddened and shocked by the news. While they say this is by far the worst crime to hit this area, they also say it's not the first.

Sam and Dee Cargill say they've seen it all. "We've seen muggings, we've seen street robberies, sexual assaults," said Sam.

This crime really bothers them. "Horrified," said Sam. "I read it in the paper this morning, man shot on the street, probably the finest residential street in the City of Savannah."

Police have responded by stepping up their patrols, even foot patrols. They're not giving up. "Our detectives have been out all night, canvassing the neighborhood, following up on any remote lead," said Capt. Branson. "Which we don't have very much right now. That's why we need the community's help."

To solve a crime that doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason.

The Gleasons moved into this home from their home on East Gaston Street. We spoke with one of their former neighbors there. She said one of the reasons they decided to move was to get away from crime downtown.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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