GBI looking for armed, dangerous Metter murder suspect

CANDLER CO., GA (WTOC) - The GBI is investigating after a murder took place at a mobile home on Hodges Street in Metter, Nov. 11.

Investigators obtained arrest warrants for 29-year-old Akeem Lanier. The warrants are for murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Lanier is wanted for the murder of 27-year-old James Edward Butler, Jr.

Preliminary information from law enforcement indicates that police responded to a call regarding an individual being shot around 12:30 a.m. When they got there, they found Butler, who died at the scene. Another man, 28-year-old Byron Brown, was also shot. He was airlifted to Savannah for treatment.

"At some point, guns were pulled, and from what we know, several shots were fired," said Interim Chief Robert Shore, Metter PD.

Police say this was not a random attack. The men had problems with each other, and police say it was basically an isolated incident. Neighbors seem to agree, but no one wanted to 'get involved' by talking on camera. Interm Chief Shore says that while this is the city's one homicide of 2017 so far, it's still one too many.

"We had one about a year ago, similar in nature," Shore said. "There was a fight, somebody was getting the better of the other, and shots rang out."

Lanier is considered to be armed and dangerous.

An autopsy will be performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah. GBI and Metter Police are actively investigating the shooting and are pursuing leads.

The GBI is asking for anyone with information about this investigation or Lanier's location to call their Statesboro office at 912.871.1121 or the Metter Police Department at 912.685.5437.

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