3 indicted in deadly shooting at Pooler’s Sams Club

Victim in Pooler shooting has died

POOLER, GA (WTOC) - A Chatham County grand jury has indicted three people in a deadly shooting that took place at Pooler’s Sams Club.

The indictment includes 17 counts. Rhondolyn Butler, Deandre Mims, and Cierra Mims are all facing charges for malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and fleeing police.

These murder charges are all connected to the shooting death of 22-year-old Quaniqwa Lee at the Sam’s Club, back in February.

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The Chatham County coroner has confirmed that the victim in a Saturday night shooting has died.

The victim has been identified as Quaniqwa Lee.

Lee’s death is the second tragedy for the family in under two years. Their son, George Akins, Jr. was just 15 when he was killed in a shooting at the McDonald’s on Savannah’s southside in 2017.

Pooler Police were looking for two people in connection to the shooting. Authorities say Cierra Mims and Deandre Mims were captured Thursday, Feb. 28 in Riverdale, GA by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Pooler Police said they are arranging for the suspects to be brought back to Chatham County.

Victim dies in Pooler shooting

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The Pooler Police Department is still searching for two suspects believed to have been involved with the shooting in Pooler on Saturday. Hardeeville Police are now also involved in the investigation.

Cierra Mims (left) and Deandre Mims (right). [Source: Pooler Police Department]
Cierra Mims (left) and Deandre Mims (right). [Source: Pooler Police Department]

Cierra Mims and her brother, Deandre Mims, are still on the run. The Pooler Police Department says that both should be considered armed and dangerous.

A third suspect, Rhondalyn Butler, was caught on Saturday night after a police chase ended in the Windsor Forest area of Savannah. She is being charged with aggravated assault.

Rhondalyn Butler (Source: Pooler Police Department)
Rhondalyn Butler (Source: Pooler Police Department)

Police believe a shooting that injured a 10-year-old girl early Friday morning in Effingham County is connected to the Saturday night shooting on Pooler Parkway near the Sam’s Club.

The first shooting in Effingham County happened just after 4 a.m. on Burnt Tree Drive Friday morning.

The second shooting happened Saturday night on Pooler Parkway near the Sam’s Club around 7 p.m. The person who was shot was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and remains in critical condition.

The Pooler Police Department says the victim from Saturday night’s shooting in Pooler is believed to have been the target of Friday’s shooting.

According to police, an officer was in hearing distance of the incident and was able to start a pursuit of the suspect’s vehicle. The chase ended in the Windsor Forest area of Savannah, where Butler was apprehended. Monday, Chief Brown said he wants to correct a piece of this information.

“As careful as I tried to be with my words, I did mistake one misspoken statement and that was that my officer was within earshot,” Chief Brown said. “That was not true. My officer was actually one lane over and one car behind the suspect vehicle. People say ‘where is the police officer when you need them?’ I had one police officer one car back of this shooting as it actually occurred.”

People who live in the Windsor Forest area say nothing like this has happened in their area.

“Couldn’t really ask for better neighbors, so when something like that happened down the street, it was just pretty shocking and kind of surprising,” said Ronald Kersey.

Kersey has lived in the neighborhood for six years. He says when he got home, the street he lives on with filled with law enforcement.

“A whole bunch of police cars," Kersey says. "Georgia State Patrol, which we never see Georgia State Patrol in the area, and officers posted virtually every corner around checking vehicles as they went by to look for the suspect and a large police presence until 2:30 or 3 this morning.”

During a news conference Saturday night, Pooler Police Chief Ashley Brown said area law enforcement is working together on these incidents. Brown says they believe the shootings were not random.

“This was not a random act of violence,” Chief Brown said. “These parties knew each other and it was very targeted. It was very specific. I want the citizens of Pooler and Effingham to understand that.”

Update

#WATCHLIVE: The Pooler Police Department is holding a press conference regarding the incident that took place near Sam's Club.

Posted by WTOC-TV on Saturday, February 23, 2019

“Right now, what I want everyone to know is that these events, both in Effingham and Pooler, were targeted and very specific and appear to be very intentional,” said Chief Ashley Brown with the Pooler Police Department “We have spent endless hours over the course of the last couple of days in co-operation with Effingham County Sheriffs Department. Almost every municipality in the Chatham County area in Savannah has helped. Hardeeville Police Department has gotten involved. This has been an intense and co-operative investigation between all parties involved.”

Investigators want you to keep in mind that since the suspects are expected to be armed and dangerous, please do not approach them.

“I would certainly use caution,” Chief Brown said. “Dial 911 or anybody you can and get folks over there to hopefully get them in custody.”

If you have any information about the shooting or the whereabouts of Cierra or Deandre Mims, you are asked to call police.

“We have spent endless hours over the course of the last couple of days in cooperation with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department,” Chief Brown said. “Almost every municipality in the Chatham County area in Savannah has helped. Hardeeville Police Department has gotten involved. This has been an intense and cooperative investigation between all parties involved.”

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