Chief Lovett: Labor Day homicides were not random - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chief: Labor Day homicides were not random


Savannah Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett says he was upset when he got the call that there were four homicides in Savannah over labor day weekend.

"Like any other chief, I was wondering what the hell was going on," Chief Lovett said.

Lovett says his investigators are making headway solving the crimes, but so far there have been no arrests in the River Street murder or the double homicide on Henry Street.

Lovett says the public should not be scared.

"These homicides that occurred over the weekend...everyone that was killed was not just a random someone walking down the street. That was not the situation," Chief Lovett said.

Downtown Savannah tour guide Emily Pickels' family told us earlier this week they believed she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lovett wouldn't give specific details.

"No innocent people as far as we know were targeted," Lovett said.

As for the River Street murder, Lovett said it was the first homicide on the popular street in fifteen years.

He says the victim, Tiyates Franklin, was actually shot somewhere between Bay Street and River Street. Lovett said   the victim's friends walked him into Wet Willies.

"That is part of the frustration I have. If your friends walked you down there, why didn't we latch onto those people involved? Those are questions I have," Lovett said.

Lovett wouldn't get specific, but acknowledged there was a problem and said there could have been a different outcome.

"It was not a lack of police presence. There were other things we had in place on River Street that didn't function as they should have. Those things were corrected. They would have aided the investigation or perhaps stopped it. That's a police issue I'm correcting. That's my call and I accept full responsibility for that," Lovett said.

Emily Pickels' friends contacted WTOC Thursday and said they were outraged by the Chief's comments.

They believe Pickels was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was indeed an innocent victim.

Chief Lovett didn't provide many details into the murder on Talahi Island.

14 year old Preston Phelps is charged with murdering his father.

Lovett says they took almost three days processing the crime scene and they have a very clear picture of what happened.

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