SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — In the beginning days of April, the Hostess City has already seen four shootings, and an overall rise in gun-related crimes, according to the Savannah Police Department (SPD).
“The city of Savannah for the size, we do have some crime. It’s not that we have a crime problem that’s out of control but we do definitely need to work together to try to solve it. It’s not just a police issue, it’s a community issue so it’s going to take everybody pulling together to make this happen,” explained Kurtis Purtee, 6th District Alderman.
SPD said two shootings occurred on April 1, the first being at Lake Mayer. SPD says a 20-year-old man was hospitalized with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. Police arrived on scene around 7:15 p.m. and promptly closed the park. The man was taken to Memorial Medical Center.
Around two hours later, a 31-year-old man arrived at Candler Hospital with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. Police later arrested 36-year-old Eric Scott and booked him into the Chatham County jail. SPD sais the shooting happened in the 800 block of Cubbage Street.
Police charged Scott with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and cruelty to children third degree.
April 2 at around 2:20 p.m., a man was seriously injured in a shooting in the 2000 block of Indiana Avenue. The 36-year-old man was taken to Memorial Medical Center.
SPD said the suspect, 18-year-old Javon Roberson was charged with five counts of aggravated assault and one count of cruelty to children second degree. Roberson was booked into the Chatham County Jail.
The following day around the same time of day, a 35-year-old man arrived at Memorial Medical Center with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Initially, officers arrived at Skidaway Road at Victory Drive for a report of a shooting, but could not locate the man.
SPD says the shooting stemmed from a fight at a nearby gas station between the man and Trenton Howard-Ward, 23. SPD said Howard-Ward shot the man while he was driving in the area.
Howard-Ward was charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children third degree and taken to the Chatham County Jail.
The Hostess City has seen an uptick in aggravated assault cases with a gun this year. So far in 2022, there have been 82 reported incidents as of March 26 — that’s an increase of 14 compared to this time last year.
Of those 82 aggravated assaults with a gun, at least 12 happened in the past two weeks.
In order to combat the recent string of gun-related violence, the city will likely implement some new tactics to help create a safer environment across the city.
“We’re going to see probably some block parties, were gonna see some areas of high patrol in some of those areas where we’ve had violent crime upticks. The biggest thing that we like to tell folks is when you see something say something. Often folks take to social media and they’ll say, ‘hey we saw this in this neighborhood’ but they never call police….it’s hard for the police to respond to stuff when they don’t know about it,” Purtee explained.
SPD continues to investigate the shootings and says it believes none are related. Police urge anyone with information to call 912-525-3124, CrimeStoppers at 912-234-2020 or submit a tip online.