SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — There are growing concerns after another shooting last weekend in downtown Savannah that left one man dead.
Ryane Swims Jr., 27, was shot to death a little over a week ago at the intersection of Congress and Whitaker Streets.
His family and friends say they’re grieving an unimaginable loss.
“We’re really torn up about it. It’s my baby son, and I thought I did all the things right and this happened,” Ryane O’Neil Swims, the victim’s father, said.
His family says he was a military veteran and active in the community. They say they just want answers about what happened to Ryane.
“I’m just trying to figure out what happened and bring the people to justice who did that to my son because he was a very good kid,” his father said.
There are likely several other families in our area searching for those kinds of answers as well. Swims was not the only victim of gun violence this month in Savannah.
“It’s not just Ryane out here. His name is Ryane O’Neil Swims. We didn’t just lose one person. There’s so many people in Savannah who went down to gun violence. So, to all you families who experienced this loss: I’m so sorry you had to go through this because I’m here right here with you right now,” Sgt. James Masterson, Swims’ friend and fellow combat veteran, said.
Just in October, we saw shootings in all corners of the city, with News 3 reporting on 12 of those shootings.
Though, according to the Savannah Police Department’s weekly crime reports, there were 20 instances of domestic and non-domestic gun violence in October by the 21st of the month.
A detective for SPD says the investigation into the shooting that killed Swims remains open and active, but he can’t provide further details at this time.
Swims’ family and friends say they’d like to see changes to Georgia’s gun laws.
“It’s too many big corporations that make money off of these guns, and those are the ones that need to be stopped. It’s corporate greed again. Everybody’s getting all this money, and we’re losing sense of these children out in the streets to it,” Swims’ father said.
Currently, Georgia law allows for open and concealed carry of weapons without a permit, legislation signed by Governor Brian Kemp signed in 2022.