Baxley Police, GBI investigate after shooting leaves one dead


BAXLEY, GA (WTOC) -The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Baxley Police in their investigation after one person was killed early on Sunday morning.

Officers received a call around 2:40 a.m. on December 30th about a shooting at the Key West Inn in Baxley. A quick investigation revealed that the victim, 21-year-old Dennis Bryant, and his girlfriend were followed to to the motel by Rocky Wheeler, 17, Rhett Wheeler, 21, Louis Torres, 19, Gabrielle Labaco, 18. Catherine Zipperer, 17, and Daisy Lott, 18, to confront the victim about an event that occured earlier in the evening.

As Bryant was removing things from his car, he was assaulted by Rocky and Rhett. During that altercation, he was shot and died as a result of his injuries. Torres also received a non-life-threatening gunshot injury and was taken to a hospital in Savannah.

The Baxley Police Chief says it took them about 12 hours to identify possible suspects, find them and get them into custody. It’s the first homicide in Baxley in more than a year. But that still doesn’t sit well with him or others.

“We all want to think it can’t happen in our neighborhood,” said Chief Godfrey. “But this shows that it does.”

Rocky, Rhett, Torres, Labaco, Zipperer, and Lott are all currently in custody for Bryant’s death. His body will be transported to the GBI crime lab in Savannah for an autopsy.

The suspects will go before a magistrate judge to hear the charges then wait in jail for a bond hearing in Superior Court.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Baxley Police Department at (912) 367-8305 or the GBI office in Douglas at (912) 389-4103

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