Woman arrested for kidnapping 2 infants, shooting in Savannah

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:39 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Six-week-old twin infants Lorenzo and Matteo Rodgers are safe after being abducted Tuesday morning during a shooting on Savannah’s eastside.

The suspect, identified by Savannah Police as Angela Montgomery, 23, of Rincon, is also in custody, according to the police department. Montgomery and the infants were located at a residence on St. Andrews Road in the Lost Plantation neighborhood in Rincon in Effingham County.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had activated an Amber Alert earlier on Tuesday after Lorenzo and Matteo Rodgers were taken during a shooting Tuesday morning in Savannah. According to the Amber Alert, the twins were abducted on the 1500 block of Northeast 36th Street by a woman referred to as “Kathleen” who Savannah Police believed may have been in Effingham County.

Officers found a female victim, identified as Gabrielle Rodgers, with gunshot wounds at the scene of the abduction on 36th Street. She was transported to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Rodgers is in critical but stable condition, according to Savannah Police. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson has identified the victim as the mother of the two infants.

City leaders spoke with the family while police continued their search.

“They were trying the best they could while working through their emotions to try to help the police and be helpful to the police and I’m convinced that some of that information as well as other information that was received and helped us to be able to capture the suspect and to ensure that the children were out of danger,” said Mayor Johnson.

Savannah Police detectives and SWAT arrested Montgomery around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday with help from the Rincon Police Department and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, approximately four hours and 10 minutes after the shooting in Savannah. Montgomery has been charged with aggravated assault and two kidnapping counts, according to Savannah Police.

“We had a lot of things that went right in this, fortunately. Because of that we had a very successful and very happy conclusion to this particular situation for those young children,” said SPD Chief Roy Minter.

Lorenzo and Matteo were unharmed but were transported to a nearby hospital for a medical examination, according to Savannah Police.

Savannah Police and Mayor Johnson also say tips pouring in from the community helped police find the twin boys and Montgomery quicker.

“Our ability to get out very quickly on social media, on the media and say this is what we’re dealing with and then a community is concerned enough to be able to say what they saw. We’re halfway there and we need this mother to be okay,” said Mayor Johnson.

“What happened today is every mother’s worst nightmare. We are so thankful that Matteo and Lorenzo were located quickly and were ultimately unharmed,” Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter said in a statement. “This was an all hands on deck approach. Everyone in the Savannah area was looking for this suspect and the twins. The detectives in this case worked quickly, tracking down every available lead while working with our local, state and federal partners, but the case would not have moved as swiftly if it had not also been for the community assistance. SPD, and I’m sure the rest of the city, hopes to see the children’s mother make a full recovery and be reunited with her sons as soon as possible.”

WTOC got an exclusive interview with Savannah Police Department Captain David Gay Wednesday morning for an update on the case. Watch the full interview below:

WTOC heard from a lot of people who were asking why it took almost three hours for the Amber Alert to go out. Before an alert is sent, the information passes through several different agencies. Here’s how it works:

  1. Local Law Enforcement has to recommend the alert, and this comes with certain criteria. Police have to believe the child is in imminent danger. Police also need enough descriptive information about the victim or the abductor.
  2. After local law enforcement believes it warrants an alert, the request is sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
  3. GBI reviews the information, then sends an activation request to The Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
  4. GEMA then determines if the alert should be sent statewide or regional.
  5. Finally, the alert is sent.

The state says this is all necessary to prevent the system from being overused.

For more details on alert criteria for law enforcement, click here.

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