Police report released of downtown Savannah shooting, crash

Jaquay Bell (Source: SCMPD)
Jaquay Bell (Source: SCMPD)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The long report from Savannah-Chatham Metro Police detailing witness, victim and officer accounts of the late night, early morning violence in downtown Savannah following the July 4th celebration was released Wednesday, July 12.

There are about 90 pages beginning with the shooting in City Market that police responded to first, just before midnight last Tuesday.

Some of the things standing out after going over just the first few pages are the accounts of the shooting that triggered a deadly chain of events, including that police chase of the vehicle involved that ended in a fatal crash killing three people.

Just before midnight on the July 4, officers in the City Market area reported hearing at least seven gunshots in the area of West St. Julian Street and Jefferson Street.

Video released to us from police showing the suspect vehicle, the white SUV, pulling up to a group of people and then taking off after shots were fired from inside the vehicle.

One of the dozens of police officers in the vicinity of City Market said he heard up to 10 gunshots.

As the small army of officers rushed to the scene, one noted the smell of burned gunpowder. Another described approaching one of the victims from that volley of gunfire and noticing a pistol on the ground next to him.

Yet another officer said there was a large mass of young people running through the area, screaming and trying to get away.

Police canvassed the area, getting eyewitness accounts and a vehicle description, then call it out on the radio.

Minutes later, the SUV was spotted on West Bay Street near Fellwood Drive and officers start the pursuit.

As the pursuit approached MLK on Bay Street, officers noted traffic getting heavier. Police already on River and Bay streets on foot desperately tried to clear pedestrians from the road.

One officer said he yelled over and over at the crowd of 20 to 30 to get out of the roadway before the violent crash.

Five people were injured as a result and one, Scott Waldrup, was killed.

We've heard about his final, heroic act, and it's detailed in the report. One witness told police he saw Waldrup push a woman out of the road to keep her from getting hit.

Once the SUV crashed, police descended on the wreckage and put Jerry Chambers, Jr. - who admitted at the scene to being behind the wheel - in custody.

Chambers faces three counts of felony murder, for the two killed in the SUV with him, and for the death of Waldrup.

According to police reports, the first shooting happened shortly before midnight on the Fourth of July on Saint Julian and Jefferson streets.

The deadly crash on Bay Street happened 30 minutes after that shooting.

The second shooting happening about 10 minutes after the crash.

Twenty minutes after that, 18-year-old Jaquay Bell was arrested.

Police say he was seen running from Jefferson Street towards West Congress Lane shortly after shots were fired. They also tell us he was carrying a stolen gun.

Right now, we are working to determine if or how he was connected to either shooting.

WTOC has decided to not post the police report online for respect to the families due to some of the gruesome details in the report.

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