Police continue to investigate after City Market shooting; SDBA - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police continue to investigate after City Market shooting; SDBA releases gun violence statement

(Source: WTOC viewer) (Source: WTOC viewer)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened in the heart of City Market over the weekend in downtown Savannah.

This is the fourth shooting to occur in this popular area of town in the past year. 

Police say 25-year-old Keenan Gray, a U.S. Army soldier stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, was shot around 1 a.m. Sunday after getting into an altercation with an unknown suspect(s) near Saint Julian and Jefferson streets.

Gray was transported to the hospital for treatment, where he remained in critical, but stable condition for several hours. According to a spokesperson at Fort Stewart, he was released, and is now in good condition.

All nearby restaurants and businesses open at the time of the shooting were evacuated, while police blocked off the area near St. Julian and Jefferson streets to investigate.

Most of Savannah's visitors on Sunday seemed to share a feeling of shock about the shooting.

"It's just people out having fun on a Saturday night. I just, it's awful. It's just not what, it's not what I'd expect. It's just shocking," said Jamacia O'Brien.

"It looks so safe, but then, not being around from here. Maybe it's not. I'm not sure," said Jonna Harris.

"I'm kind of shocked because I had done some research before we came here. You know, it's the first thing you do. Study the crime rates or whatever, and where to go, where not to go," said Butch McGee.

On Monday, Savannah business leaders and elected officials also weighed in on the latest act of violence in the tourist-heavy area.

While Alderman Van Johnson said he is pro-2nd Amendment rights, he had this to say about Georgia's existing laws relating to carrying firearms.

"From my point of view, as long as we have a state that allows guns everywhere, including in and around establishments that sell alcohol, unfortunately we are going to have these types of incidents occur,” said Johnson. 

The Savannah Downtown Business Association released the following statement on the incident:

The level of gun violence in this community is unacceptably high. The SDBA will remain tireless in our efforts to support our police department with the tools they need to protect our public safety and to find the violent offenders. We stand with our district attorney’s office to hold these violent criminals accountable for their actions and ensure that justice will be swift and severe. 

We all have a part to play in creating a safe Savannah. If we are going to put an end to the epidemic of gun violence plaguing this community and our Nation, we need to stand together, united in a common purpose. Together we can do something; not by pointing fingers, assigning blame or creating divides, but by standing together and choosing to become part of the solution.

We did a little digging and discovered an interesting note; All four of the shootings near City Market in the past year occurred between Saturday night and Sunday morning, typically the busiest night in the area.

City Market Shooting Timeline: 

  1. August 2, 2015 - Five bystanders were hit by gunfire around 3 a.m. after an argument broke out near City Market and Ellis Square.
  2. October 18, 2015 - Shots were fired into a large crowd in city market.  One man was injured. 
  3. December 12, 2015 -  Four people were injured after a gun fight in the Whitaker street parking garage near City Market. Police say shots were also fired inside Club Rain, but no one was hit.
  4. July 17 - A HAAF soldier was shot during an argument near St. Julian and Jefferson streets.

Anyone with information on this case should call CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

A confidential tip line also is open directly to investigators at 912.525.3124.

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