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Shots draw charges on teen
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A shootout at the Crossroads Shopping Center Saturday afternoon has led to the arrest of a man who may also have ties to the recent nighttime shootings in a residential area.
Gary Donte Lavonn Johnson, 17, has also be associated with at least one of the recent string of burglaries within the city, according to police.
According to a written statement released by the Hinesville Police Department, Johnson of Hinesville was arrested Saturday and is in jail for his alleged involvement in the shooting that shattered two windows in a former Radio Shack Store in the shopping area.
According to the incident report, several witnesses saw a man they later identified as Johnson shooting at a car described as a gray Jeep Cherokee Laredo.
It is still unclear why Johnson allegedly fired at the vehicle, which was occupied by four juveniles.
"What I can tell you at this point is that it was a verbal argument that escalated to this," HPD Det. Major Thomas Cribbs said.
No one was injured during the shooting where as many as 35 people where in a nearby nail salon, four people in a realty office Boggs and several people walking through the parking lot.
According to the incident report, at least one other vehicle showed signs of damage from a bullet hole and one of the bullets went through the wall of the nail salon and pierced the sheetrock wall.
Officers discovered nine shell casings from a 40-caliber weapon and a Glock 23, 40-caliber handgun was reportedly found partially covered with a piece of Styrofoam. Johnson was reportedly detained when he was found in front of a barbershop on South Main Street. He was brought back to the shopping center where allegedly several witnesses identified him as the shooter.  
Johnson was initially charged with four counts of aggravated assault. During a bond hearing Monday morning bond was issued at $10,000 for each count.
Additional warrants were obtained for new charges that include, four counts of criminal damage to property, having a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, terroristic threats and acts, and four counts of cruelty to children in the first degree. An additional $95,000 bond was imposed.
Police have reason to believe that he is one of the people involved in recent shoots in the Pointe South, Summerwind Condos area and is allegedly responsible for one of the recent burglaries within the city. More charges are pending.
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