Four Suspects Linked to Three Shootings - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/27/05

Four Suspects Linked to Three Shootings

Damien Gaines Damien Gaines
Tarus Green Tarus Green
Corey "Lil Murder" Milton Corey "Lil Murder" Milton
Lyeron Rice Lyeron Rice

Is a gang behind a series of shootings in Savannah earlier this month? Investigators say four men, ranging from age 17 to 20, are calling themselves members of the Turf Boys, and could be facing more charges if and when they're taken into custody.

If you've seen any of these men, police want to know about it. Investigators say they're not ready to link Damien Gaines, Corey "Lil Murder" Milton, Lyeron Rice and Tarus Green to a gang, but the men certainly act like they're in one.

"These guys refer to themselves as the Turf Boys, absolutely," said Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Bucky Burnsed.

The string of shootings began on April 6, when Burnsed says they shot Manny Engram in the back near 37th Street and Paulsen. Just a few hours later, police say they struck again, this time shooting Damian Milton near Live Oak and Seiler Avenue.

The next day, Mayor Otis Johnson said he'd had enough and called on the community to do a better job of policing itself. "I am singling out the African American community, cause that is where the victims are and where the perpetrators are and they pose eminent danger to the safety and welfare of this community," the mayor said at the time.

But police say the Turf Boys still weren't finished. Investigators connected them to a man shot a few days later on Mississippi Avenue.

Police say the fact they've linked all four suspects to all three of these shootings shows how important it is to get these men in custody.

"These four individuals have shown a propensity for violence," said Burnsed. "And as a public, it is in the public's best interest for them to be removed from the street."

Burnsed says there's a good possibility the men could face more charges if they're brought in.

Police are asking if anyone has any information about these four men to call them or CrimeStoppers at 234.2020.

So many people showed up for Mayor Johnson's town hall meeting on crime that there wasn't enough room and hundreds were turned away. Tonight, the mayor's holding a follow-up meeting at 7pm in the ballroom at the Savannah Civic Center. It's open to anyone who signed up as a volunteer as well as those who couldn't make the first meeting.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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