Police Get Gun Back from Shooting Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/26/06

Police Get Gun Back from Shooting Suspect

One day after five separate shootings kept Savannah-Chatham police busy, they were already starting to make headway in closing those cases.

One man is already in jail, and several suspects are on the run in the shootings, but police got one surprising break.

Police say Jawaun Lee wrestled a gun away from one of their officers over the weekend, and then got involved in one of Monday's shootings. Those two incidents obviously made him a big priority for police.

Tuesday, Lee decided to enlist help getting the gun he'd taken back to police.

"He called me because he knew me from coming up to where I work, and asked me would I turn it in for him," Curtis Lee told WTOC. "And I told him I would."

Curtis Lee says a middle man brought him the gun, and he doesn't know where Jawaun Lee is. Curtis turned the gun over to Sgt. Greg Capers, whom he's known for years. They both hope this means Jawaun is considering turning himself in next.

"I did mention it to him, and basically he didn't respond" said Curtis Lee. "He had no comment on it. Hopefully he's thinking it over, and maybe he eventually will."

Sgt. Capers is optimistic: "From speaking to Curtis, who spoke with him on the phone, I think he really does understand the full impact of what's happened."

Officers say Jawaun Lee and Marquis Young were involved in Monday's shootout at Henry and Waters Avenue, and rammed their stolen SUV into another vehicle while trying to get away. At this point, though, they don't think Lee used the gun he turned in Tuesday during that firefight.

"Right now we're still conducting forensic investigations, doing follow-ups on shell casings and bullet fragments that were recovered from the scene," said Maj. James Barnwell. "Thus far we haven't found anything to indicate that a gun that belonged to one of our officers was used in any type or in any of the violence that occurred."

Barnwell says this type of help they got from Curtis Lee is just what they need from the rest of the Savannah community. Police say they're optimistic at this point; just having any sort of communication with one of the biggest suspects out there bodes well for their chances at getting him rounded up.

If he doesn't turn himself in, Jawaun Lee has a lot of people searching for him: police started forming a special task force whose sole duty is to hunt down suspects from Monday's string of shootings.

Aside from Lee and Young, they're also looking for 21-year-old Sammy Gadson, who police say shot Tony Hill at Park Avenue and Abercorn.

Police are looking for a "person of interest" in the murder of Ramone Bowers on Duffy Street near Habersham, but aren't releasing his name. They say that murder is probably drug related, since they found 70 rocks of crack cocaine in his person.

Police arrested 19-year-old Kashif Collins on Monday for the murder of John Kurtz at Henry and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

There are still more questions than answers in one last shooting, which took place on Pennsylvania Avenue Monday night. Albert Villarruel says he stopped to help another driver, who shot him.

If you have any information about any of these incidents, call CrimeStoppers at 234.2020.

You can also contact CrimeStoppers online at www.savannahchathamcrimestoppers.org.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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