Authorities arrest suspect for murder of two Fort Stewart soldie - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Authorities arrest suspect for murder of two Fort Stewart soldiers

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: Coastal News Service) (Source: Coastal News Service)
Shaquille D. Craig (Source: Coastal News Service) Shaquille D. Craig (Source: Coastal News Service)
HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) -

(Update: 3/9/2017 at 6:15 p.m.): The Hinesville Police Department arrested a suspect Thursday for the murders of two Fort Stewart soldiers on Sunday on Rebecca Street.

Sgt. Shaquille D. Craig, 24, is currently charged with two counts of murder, with other charges pending. Craig’s first appearance hearing is tentatively scheduled for Friday morning.

According to police, the motive of the crime seems to have been a personal issue between Craig and Pvt. Malika Jackson. Sp4 Marquez Brown appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Officials were able to make the arrest quickly because of the police and military working together on the case. The families of the victims are clinging to their memories.  

"That was the best thing about him, his smile. He could fill a room, he could fill your heart just by that smile," said Shakeera Simmons, cousin of one of the victims. 

"Why did they kill him? He was nonviolent. It seems like it's just a dream. It's not real yet, but I'm praying and asking God to show us what happened, and I believe He'll do it," said Patricia Simmons Cole, grandmother of one of the soldiers. 

Sgt. Craig is a petroleum supply specialist assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade. He joined the Army in June 2012 and arrived at Fort Stewart in January 2014. 

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The men were found shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday night at a two-story townhouse apartment in the 100 block of Rebecca Street.

According to reports, officers from the Hinesville Police Department went to the home after receiving an anonymous tip that there were two men dead inside.

The Liberty County Coroner has identified the two men as 21-year-old Pvt. Malika Darion Jackson, of Foley, Alabama, and 23-year-old Spc. Marquez Brown, of Macon, Georgia. 

Fort Stewart officials confirmed that both of the individuals found deceased in the apartment were active duty soldiers assigned to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart.

We can confirm the two individuals found dead in a Hinesville apartment Sunday night by Hinesville police are Fort Stewart Soldiers. We are cooperating with law enforcement officials in the investigation. We are not releasing the names of the Soldiers at this time to allow for next of kin notifications to be completed. Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the two Soldiers. Additional details are not being released at this time. -Kevin Larson, Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office

Military officials say Jackson was an automated logistics specialist. He joined the Army in May 2016 and arrived at Fort Stewart in October 2016.  

Brown was a wheeled-vehicle driver. He joined the Army in October 2014 and arrived at Fort Stewart in April 2016.

The deaths of the two soldiers has been upgraded to a homicide. An autopsy was completed on Tuesday at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah that revealed both men died as a result of gunshot wounds. The police report says one of the victims also had multiple stab wounds. 

Captain James Reid says they were able to get more information about the victims by working with Fort Stewart. He says they did at least 100 interviews on base to help with the investigation. Right now, they're looking for at least one suspect. 

"I don't think that this is a case where the public should be concerned. We don't think we have some sort of psycho or maniac running around, but you should always be a little cautious," said Captain Reid, Hinesville Police. 

Police say Jackson and Brown had been at a party at the home Saturday night, and that both men were seen alive by friends Sunday morning. Officers had also been called out to that same party Saturday night for a noise complaint and left after not finding anything. 

Officials say there were no signs of a struggle and no signs of any illegal activities taking place in the apartment when the bodies were found. They say there was a third person in the apartment at the time of the killings, but it is not known at this time if that third person is a suspect. 

The Hinesville Police Department is leading the investigation and is being supported by the Fort Stewart Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Anyone with information about this case should call Hinesville police at 912.368.8211.

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