CLAXTON, Ga. (WTOC) - A suspect has been arrested for a shooting in Claxton, Ga.
Evans County Sheriff Randall Tippins said Mickey Lewis Byrd, Jr., 27, has been arrested in Statesboro.
Byrd is charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The shooting occurred Sunday morning on Oxendine Drive. Steven Moore, 22, was killed in the incident.
According to the GBI, the investigation shows that the victim and suspect had an argument over a gang-related dispute which led to a shooting. The two involved in the altercation were purported members of the Gangster Disciples gang.
Multiple agencies were involved in the arrest, including the Statesboro Police Department, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI, and U.S. Marshals.
Byrd made his first appearance in court Friday afternoon.
The sheriff says they urgently wanted to get Mickey Byrd into custody, not only for him to face charges, but for his own safety and to end what he called back and forth retaliation.
Deputies brought Byrd to court to formally hear the charges against him. Magistrate Judge Genie Miller told him he faced counts of murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Byrd offered little response beyond acknowledging the charges. The sheriff says Moore, Byrd and their friends have been at odds for months.
“There are two groups here. They’re gangs or they want to be gangs .and they’ve been shooting up the town,” said Tippins.
He believes Byrd or his friends and Moore’s side have fired shots at each other or in each other’s neighborhoods. The sheriff hopes Byrd’s arrest stops what he calls retaliation.
“His mother’s residence, and the place I’ve known him to stay, was shot up just an hour or two after this happened," said Tippins.
Judge Miller said it would be up to a Superior Court judge to grant him bond or not and turned him back over to deputies.
The sheriff says Byrd will stay in the Bulloch County jail at least until he requests a bond hearing in Superior Court.