Shots reportedly were fired Sunday at a man who was riding a bicycle shortly after 7 p.m. on Busbee Road near Highway 84, according to an incident report filed by Walthourville Police Officer Brandon Calhoun. The victim, however, still has not been found.
A witness told Calhoun that he heard two shots and saw a man wearing an orange hat with the letter P on it carrying a black and silver handgun. The man reportedly got into a black and orange Ford Expedition and headed toward Highway 84, at which time the witness said he heard an additional shot.
The witness told Calhoun that he saw a man riding a bicycle jump off the bike and run into the woods as the Expedition left the area. Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies Lt. Orrin Nestor and Johnnie Garcia searched the nearby wooded area but found no trace of the bicyclist or any sign he had been wounded.
Calhoun issued a “be-on-the-lookout” bulletin over county and city radio bands for the vehicle and its occupants. The officer recovered two .40-caliber cartridges from the street.
The vehicle later was spotted at a mobile home park on Brantley Drive in Hinesville by Hinesville Police Officer Michael Dye, who followed the SUV down Ralph Quarterman Drive and onto Community Road. Patrolman Jassen Garrett provided backup as Dye initiated a traffic stop. The suspect climbed out of the Expedition and fled on foot with Dye in pursuit. Garrett drew his service revolver and detained the driver, later identified as Dwayne Dotson, and a rear seat passenger, identified as Melson Mabry.
Calhoun questioned both men and Dotson said he did not know the man who jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. Mabry told Calhoun he met the man, who he first identified only as Cory, earlier that afternoon at Summerwind Condos on Brett Drive.
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Julie Hibbler was called in to investigate the shooting. She had the men transported to the Liberty County Regional Jail, where, using a photo Hibbler obtained from the jail, they both reportedly identified the man who ran from the Expedition as Cory Gibbs.
Both men told Hibbler that Dotson, Mabry and Gibbs had been in the vehicle driving on Busbee Road when Gibbs allegedly asked Dotson to turn around because he saw his friend riding a bike. When they caught up to the man on the bike, Gibbs told Dotson to stop. After the vehicle stopped, Dotson and Mabry said, Gibbs allegedly fired several rounds at the bicyclist.
If the bicyclist is not found, Gibbs, who has not been arrested, may only be charged with discharging a firearm within city limits. Dotson and Mabry later were released and have not been charged with anything. The bicycle was taken to the sheriff’s office and entered into evidence.