Chief Lovett speaks out about kidnapping, standoff
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
"What scared me the most was when someone told me a person with a machine gun was firing at people on Broughton Street," exclaimed Savannah Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett. "Fortunately, that wasn't true."
But a plain clothes officer, Savannah Chatham Domestic Violence Detective Trina Mayes, did notice Kevin Brooks, 26, with a hand held gun. She told him to stop and when he didn't, she fired her weapon. Even though Broughton Street is a busy area, Chief Lovett believes Detective Mayes did the right thing.
"Under the circumstances, she did exactly what she was trained to do. When you have a situation like that, and you have a suspect pointing a gun at you, you have one of two choices: get shot or you can shoot them."
After the incident, Detective Mayes was put on desk duty, pending the outcome of an investigation. Chief Lovett said that's standard when any police weapon is discharged.
Kevin Brooks took off after that shooting and ended up barricading himself in The Olde Pink House Restaurant. Fortunately, all the employees made it out safely. The SWAT Team eventually caught Kevin Brooks on the main floor of the restaurant. Chief Lovett said more than 100 of his officers, plus Chatham County Sheriff Deputies, CNT, and the Swat Team worked together to catch both suspects.
"I think they did extremely well," said Chief Lovett. "It's not often you get to practice something like that in a real life situation but under the circumstances, I think they did remarkably well."
But it wasn't over just yet. On the other side of town, Police started chasing Brian Jones, 23. They ended up at a home off Milton Street, where the victim, Earl Hamilton, 60, lived with his 12-year-old son. The boy calmly walked out of the home and told police no one was inside. To everyone's surprise, Jones jumped in an SUV, put it in reverse, almost hitting officers, and ran into some trees. He then fled on foot into the woods.
"You can't really take anything for granted, " said Chief Lovett. "The mere fact that the kid came out and said Jones was no longer there, we're law enforcement officers and we can't afford to take those chances. We should have taken more precautions."
Officers eventually tracked down Jones. Both he and Brooks were arraigned this morning in recorders court. Both were denied bond and will have a preliminary hearing on June 7. Pooler Police also added additional charges to Kevin Brooks, including armed robbery, burglary and possession of a firearm. Officers say Brooks also robbed a home off Georgia Avenue on Tuesday.
Hamilton, the victim in Thursday's kidnapping, is also being investigated. He has a lengthy criminal history. Investigators are trying to determine how all three men knew each other. CNT agents also searched Hamilton's home, but Chief Lovett would not say if they found anything.