A Midway man has reportedly been arrested in connection with a home invasion report in Statesboro that eventually led to a fatal shooting of one suspect.
The Midway man, identified as Akeen Rashad Milton of East Oglethorpe Highway, has been charged in connection with the home invastion robbery, not the shooting.
Here is the story from the Statesboro Herald.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fatal shooting of an armed robbery suspect about 1 a.m. Tuesday that involved an officer with the Statesboro Police Department.
Officer Adam Paquette, identified in a joint statement issued late Tuesday afternoon by the department and Mayor Jan Moore, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, in accordance with SPD policy. The city’s statement did not confirm that the officer shot the suspect, but said only that Paquette “discharged his service weapon during the encounter.”
Paquette has been employed with the Statesboro Police Department since January of 2016 and has been a certified law enforcement officer since 2012.
Home invasion robbery
Statesboro police had responded to a call concerning an armed robbery and home invasion at the Campus Evolution Villages apartment complex, 1699 Statesboro Place Circle, at 1:08 a.m. Three people were reported to have entered a residence and held victims at gunpoint, according to the GBI.
Statesboro Police Department officers, along with deputies and officers from the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Southern University Police Department, began to search the area for the three suspects after receiving a description from the victims, the SPD said in its statement.
Officers found one of the suspects near the scene and arrested him without incident. But officers unsuccessfully used a Taser in an attempt to arrest a second suspect, who fled the scene, according to GBI and SPD news releases.
After the second suspect was located again at the rear of another residence in the area, an officer reported that the suspect had a gun. “Shots were fired” and “the second suspect suffered a fatal gunshot wound,” the city’s statement said.
Neither the city nor the GBI had identified the shooting victim as of press time Tuesday evening. GBI agents were attempting to confirm the deceased person’s identity pending preliminary autopsy results, and notifying the next of kin, Moore said.
The autopsy was being performed Tuesday at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah, the GBI said in its initial statement.
Press conference 10 a.m.
A press conference is slated for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Statesboro City Hall.
Meanwhile, Statesboro police charged the suspect arrested at the scene of the reported home invasion robbery, Akeem Rashad Milton of East Oglethorpe Highway in Midway, with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime, possessing a firearm while a convicted felon, and giving false information to an officer.
News of the officer-involved shooting was already circulating when Statesboro City Council met at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and Moore gave a statement, quoting information from the GBI’s initial press release. She promised that the GBI or city would release the officer’s name, which was done by the end of the day. At that time, Deputy Chief Rob Bryan, interim chief of the Statesboro Police Department, deferred to Moore’s statement, and Moore said Bryan would have no further statement Tuesday.
"And I want everybody to know, once it was determined that a fatality was involved, a shooting/fatality, our police department, specifically Deputy Chief Bryan, immediately notified the GBI, who promptly arrived and took over that investigation,” Moore said.
The shooting had already prompted some on social media to post videos, with comments from people calling the shooting racially motivated. Official statements did not mention the race of the officer or the shooting victim, whose name had not been released. But Paquette is white, and Milton, the arrested suspect who was not shot, is African-American.
James “Major” Woodall, former state collegiate NAACP president and current Democratic candidate for District 160 Georgia state representative, said he supports law enforcement’s investigation and urged people to remain calm and wait for the details of the shooting to be released.
Woodall, who is black, said he has been in touch with interim Chief Bryan since Tuesday morning, discussing the incident as well as public reaction.
“As soon as I heard about the (shooting) and looked at the videos (circulating on social media) I started to investigate,” Woodall said. “The SPD and GBI are currently following typical protocol as they do in any death investigation and I appreciate them for doing that.
“There is no reason to believe the SPD has done anything outrageous or committed any injustice,” he said. The suspect was “killed (following) an armed robbery.
“We have the police department to protect and serve,” Woodall said. “They were doing just that. I stand by the Statesboro Police and the GBI. It is sad that someone lost their life.”
Woodall said he is “very concerned” about social media attempts to agitate and encourage protests. Should a protest movement appear, “I’ll be the first to stand up for the police,” he said.
Woodall said he has reached out to some who have posted videos accusing police of wrongdoing.
A GBI crime scene processing van remained in a parking area at the Campus Evolution Villages later Tuesday morning, and a uniformed agent was working at the open back of another vehicle. An area near apartment blocks 200 and 300 was cordoned off with police tape and a Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office deputy was in a car at the perimeter, but cars and pedestrians appeared to be passing normally through the area outside the police tape.
Police say a third suspect is being sought by the Statesboro Police Department.
Anyone with any information is asked to call (912) 764-9911.