SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Rincon woman was arrested Tuesday, accused of shooting a young mom and kidnapping her twin babies in Savannah.
The 6-week-old boys, Lorenzo and Matteo Rodgers, were found unharmed, according to the Savannah Police Department (SPD). Their mother, 23-year-old Gabrielle Rodgers, is being treated for critical injuries.
Angela Montgomery, 23, now faces one aggravated assault charge and two counts of kidnapping in the case. She was denied bond Wednesday.
WSAV News 3 spoke with Jamari Tripp, who says Rodgers is his best friend.
“We talked on the phone every day, ” said Tripp.
He says Rodgers was excited to become a mom, even while juggling work and a master’s degree.
“She was proud,” said Tripp, “she was happy that they were born successfully with no problems.”
“She was just proud to be a mom,” he added.
But Tuesday morning, Rodgers experienced what Savannah’s chief of police called “every mother’s worst nightmare.”
SPD officers responded to the 1500 block of NE 36th Street shortly after 10 a.m., where they found Rodgers suffering from gunshot injuries.
Tripp says he talked on the phone with Rodgers just an hour before.
“I just keep thinking, what would have happened if I stayed on the phone, maybe even five minutes?” he wondered.
“I would have heard something. Were you trying to give me a signal to say I need help? I don’t know,” he said tearfully.
SPD learned the suspect had fled the scene with Rodgers’ twins, prompting an Amber Alert. Officials said they were looking for a white sedan and a woman who had initially been referred to as “Kathleen.”
Detectives followed a lead that the suspect and the twins might be in Effingham County.
By 2:30 p.m., Montgomery was located at a Rincon home on St. Andrews Road in the Lost Plantation neighborhood. She was taken into custody by SPD detectives and SWAT, with help from the Rincon Police Department and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Steve Villani says Lost Plantation is a quiet neighborhood. He says Montgomery lived across the street with her husband and a few other children.
“The wife was always nice. I always talked to her,” said Villani. “They were very nice interactions, no problems with them at all.”
Another neighbor said Montgomery told her she was pregnant and was expecting twin babies this month. She added that Montgomery “never looked” pregnant.
The twins were recovered at the home on St. Andrews Road. Though they were unharmed, first responders took them to a hospital for medical evaluations.
“We are so thankful that Matteo and Lorenzo were located quickly and were ultimately unharmed,” Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter stated. “This was an all-hands-on-deck approach. Everyone in the Savannah area was looking for this suspect and the twins.”
Minter said the case wouldn’t have moved as quickly as it did had it not been for tips from the community.
“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,” the chief said.
Rodgers is undergoing surgery for her injuries, according to family members. Her sister has organized an online fundraiser in the meantime to aid in recovery expenses.
“As we are praying, we ask if you may also for a speedy recovery to 100%,” Briana Young wrote on the GoFundMe page. “If there is anything you can provide, we greatly appreciate your prayers as well as donation.”