HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - The Hinesville Police Department is investigating after a woman was shot and killed at a convenience store on the corner of Memorial Drive and Gause Street on Wednesday night.
Captain Tracey Howard with Hinesville Police said the victim is 56-year-old Rosemary Michael. At first it appeared to be an attempted robbery, according to police. He said officers were dispatched to the store at 6:03 p.m. for a carjacking.
When officers arrived they found Michael lying on the ground on the driver’s side of her vehicle unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Howard said a tape of the shooting shows the woman was approached by a suspect wearing dark clothing. The suspect then approached the woman’s vehicle from the front, walking to the driver’s side.
He says it appears the suspect then demanded something of Michael. As she was searching through her vehicle, a commotion took place when the suspect allegedly produced a gun and fired at the woman, striking her.
Howard said one shell casing was recovered.
The suspect then fled across the street to the Liberty Prayer Church where a woman was sitting in her vehicle. The suspect then allegedly pulled the gun on the woman and demanded her vehicle. The woman was not injured in the carjacking.
“Fortunately for us, there was a cell phone connected to the victim inside the vehicle and we were able to track it for some period of time,” said Capt. Howard.
Police say they found the car in Claxton on Thursday.
A person of interest in this case turned himself in to Hinesville police Thursday morning. The man has been identified as Davonta Johnson. Johnson is charged with murder, carjacking, and more.
Captain Howard says a relative of Johnson from out of town contacted authorities and delivered him to them for questioning.
Capt. Howard said that after further investigation, which at first believed to have been a robbery gone wrong, was actually an act of domestic violence. He says Michael and Johnson had been romantically involved but were currently separated.
Capt. Howard said Johnson had allegedly been stalking Michael. He says they got into a physical altercation at the convenience store. Johnson was injured in the altercation prior to allegedly firing one round at Michael.
Janelle Johns can still feel the shock. She’d finished her Wednesday night radio show at church and was in her car. She says a man banged on the passenger window for a ride. Before she knew it, he’d come around to her door and pulled a gun.
“He looked at me, made eye contact, and I was out. You can have all of this,” said Johns.
Then it turned eerily calm.
“He gently grabbed my arm and led me over there to the door, hopped in backed out crazy. He almost hit the lady parked over there and drove off.”
She called police on a friend’s phone. But she saw officers going to the gas station across the street first. Within minutes she learned the same man had just shot a woman across the street.
Police say Janelle’s cell phone in her SUV helped them in the case. Janelle keeps thinking of what could have happened to her.
“Only thing I can think is ‘Lord, thank you for keeping me, for protecting me.’ He could have killed me. He could have shot through the window and taken the car. He just wanted to get away.”
*The Coastal News Service contributed to this story.