SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Two people are dead and another is hurt Monday after a series of weekend shootings. The Savannah Police Department (SPD) says it’s part of a recent uptick in violent gun-related crimes, including targeted and drive-by shootings.
“A lot of cities similar to our size — mid-size and larger cities — are seeing a similar situation,” said Capt. David Gay, who works in SPD’s Criminal Investigations Unit.
He says the coronavirus pandemic may be playing a factor in the uptick in shootings. Long-term studies, however, will be the final determinant.
“I would say, absolutely, when you consider the additional financial stressors and other social factors that are exacerbated by COVID, ” explained Gay. “Especially in the more marginalized parts of our city.”
The first of three major incidents happened Friday with a homicide investigation near 35th and Jefferson streets. It was there where police say someone found the body of Ian Ferris of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
On Saturday night, SPD says 20-year-old Calvin Marshall was shot and killed in East Savannah near Gwinnett and Paulsen streets.
Twenty-one-year-old Damonte Phillips has been arrested and charged with his murder. They say the crime is part of an ongoing conflict.
“If you have two people intent upon fighting, or having a shootout or one seeking out the other one, that’s something that’s very difficult for us to be aware of in advance or prevent,” said Gay.
Police are also investigating a separate shooting that hurt one person on Sunday. Gay says it may be related to an armed robbery, and he is confident in some of SPD’s current leads.
That’s why he says information is their currency.
“We use that information to help make these arrests, do good [and] thorough investigations, identify the shooters, and put them in jail,” he said.
Tips can also be submitted through a CrimeStoppers online tip portal. Tipsters may qualify for a reward up to $2,500, depending on the severity of the crime.
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