BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says three men are in custody after a fatal shooting on Saturday in Pembroke.
The GBI says 18-year-old Rakeem Gibbs of Savannah, 18-year-old Malik Pridgen of Pembroke, and 18-year-old Keondre Howard of Pembroke were arrested for felony murder and aggravated assault.
Pembroke Police requested the GBI’s assistance after 17-year-old Michael Smith was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside of the Napa Auto Parts Store in Pembroke.
All three men have been booked in the Bryan County Jail.
Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins says he specifically works in the schools in Pembroke overseeing programs for teens to help guide them and keep them out of trouble. Sheriff-elect Mark Crowe says this kind of violence is not something Pembroke is used to seeing and says he already has plans to help rebuild and reconstruct as soon as he takes office.
With a population of about 2,700, homicides are not common in the city of Pembroke, especially among teens. Chief Collins says there are programs currently in place but admits there needs to be more to keep teens out of trouble.
“We try very hard as a police department and public safety department to provide services, so these things won’t happen. One of the things that we do that is most prevalent in our community is our SADD group, it’s students against destructive decisions,” said Chief Collins.
He says the programs are in all schools at all levels.
“We do prevention for our kids; we make sure they understand all the things that are happening and all the consequences to the things that happen.”
The chief says collaboration is vital and Bryan County Sheriff-elect Mark Crowe agrees.
“My plans are to work with the other police departments in the area; the sheriff’s department and collaborate with police departments and try to sit down with members of the community, the leaders of the community, and the parents of the community,” said Crowe.
Crowe also says providing purpose is also key for a safer community.
“Our county commissioners and city administrators are working hard to try to get businesses to come into these rural areas so that there are job opportunities here, instead of hanging out on the streets or getting in trouble.”