Suspect charged for fatal shooting during SWAT operation on West 38th St. in Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents have charged a suspect connected to Friday's fatal shooting during a SWAT operation on West 38th Street in Savannah.

GBI agents have charged 26-year-old Deonta Pe'Quan Young with felony murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Young has been in custody since Friday on other warrants.

Young allegedly shot and killed 72-year-old Shep Morrell on Friday afternoon inside a residence on the 500 block of West 38th Street in Savannah while SWAT agents were attempting to enter the building.

Young was inside the house when authorities were attempting to execute the search warrant.

According to Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin, a SWAT team was serving a warrant for CNT at a residence around 6:15 p.m. on Friday, June 23. When the SWAT unit broke down the door, they stopped because they reported hearing gunshots.

According to the Savannah-Chatham Counter Narcotics Team, drug agents were raiding the house because there were narcotics being sold from the house. CNT says it was a known drug and gang house.

Due to intelligence that the threat level during the raid would be more than CNT agents could handle, SWAT officers assisted with the raid.

According to the GBI, they were called to the scene by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. During the incident, officials say Morrell and a 46-year-old male were shot.

EMS responded, taking both men to the hospital. Morrell died from his injuries and the other male suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Information from witnesses and officers shows that law enforcement deployed distraction devices and non-lethal Pepperball projectiles when they were executing the search warrant.

Police handcuffed and walked out close to 20 people from this home Friday. CNT agents tell WTOC they raided the house because people who lived here were selling drugs.

Authorities say the only gunfire or violence happened in the home before police got inside. That's what the GBI has to confirm.

"The GBI has the same duty to the public as we do to any law enforcement agency that we assist, and that is to investigate what happened. We're basically fact finders and we put those facts together," said Agent Bill Bodrey, GBI.

GBI is handling the shooting because Metro officers were on scene. Agents tell WTOC they interviewed every person who was inside or outside the home.

"Still have a few interviews to do and follow up on a couple of leads. For the most part, this case, we're done with most of the interviews."

Agents do expect more charges for Young, possibly related to shooting another man in the home.

We still don't know exactly why the gunfire started. No police officers were injured though.

Agent Bodrey says it's too early to comment on any other arrests related directly to the shooting. He had this to say when discussing how close they were to being done interviewing witnesses.

"You never know. One interview may lead to another so we're going to follow it out to the end and bring the facts to the district attorney's office and go from there," Agent Bodrey said.

He says that process could take months.

Young was last booked in April of this year on criminal trespassing and obstruction charges.

His criminal history, however, dates back to 2008. Since then, he has been in and out of prison four times. He's also violated parole and probation multiple times.

Young's first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27.

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