Visiting youth advocate shot by 17-year-old male - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Visiting youth advocate shot by 17-year-old male

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department’s Violent Crimes detectives arrested and charged Daquan Bryant, 17, in a Saturday night shooting on the 500 block of Yamacraw Village, which injured an 18-year-old California man. 

The shooting was reported just after 11 p.m. Metro officers responded to the scene, finding Semaj Clark suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Clark was transported by ambulance to Memorial University Medical Center for care.  

Clark has a difficult past, but after getting plugged into several different programs, he turned his life around and is now passionate about helping other youth understand there are other options for youth than violence. Clark has spoken to Congress, he even spoke to President Obama as an advocate for youth improvement programs.

He was here over the weekend and was a speaker at a community safety forum hosted by the Juvenile Court System. The goal was to bring groups and people together to focus on juvenile justice youth and how to help them.

Saturday night, after the forum, Clark and a friend were together on River Street where they encountered a group of individuals. The two reportedly accepted an invitation by the group to accompany them to Yamacraw Village.

Once they arrived at the 500 block of Yamacraw Village, a male suspect produced a gun and demanded the victim’s belongings. The victim’s ran away. Clark was shot while attempting to flee.

Nearby SCMPD officers noticed several males, including Bryant running west over the Bay Street viaduct. Officers stopped and detained these subjects for identification. They were transported to police headquarters for interviews.

Investigators determined that Bryant was the shooting offender. 

Bryant is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of armed robbery. He was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center.

Two persons of interest also are sought for questioning in this investigation. Both are black males possibly in their teens.

The first is described as tall, with a light complexion. During the incident he wore a red hooded sweatshirt.

The second subject is described as short in stature, with a dark skin tone, possibly wearing a blue and red striped shirt during the incident.

Clark is recovering in the hospital and is in good spirits.

"His words were ‘they've been trying to take me down since I was 15’. He said ‘they're not going to take me out this way’. This is why we have to keep working hard to help these young people. We have to increase our efforts to help these young people realize that they're only hurting themselves,” said George Weaver, Brotherhood Crusade.

Norris P. West, director of communications at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, released this statement:

“We are very much thinking of Semaj Clark as he recovers from the heartbreaking events of Saturday night. Earlier that day, Semaj appeared at a community safety forum in Savannah as part of a group that works with system-involved youth to help them draw on their strengths, learn from their mistakes and get on a more positive path. The stories this group shared show how important it is for our juvenile justice systems to partner with the community to promote the development of our youth and provide young people with skills, opportunities and hope for the future.”

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