Black Suspect Accused of Two-Day Long Shooting Spree Was Targeting White Men, According to Police
A Black man has been accused of injuring five White men in three different shootings in Georgia and Alabama.
The crimes have been classified as racial hatred attacks.
Columbus, Ga. Police Detective Brandon Lockhart said during a recent court hearing that 39-year-old shooter Justin Tyran Roberts told authorities White men had been messing with him his entire life.
“Basically, he explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” he said.
On Saturday June 12, 2021, officers from the Columbus Police Department arrested Mr. Justin Tyran Roberts (B/M/39). He is believed to have shot 5 people in the preceding 20 hours. pic.twitter.com/wS51L7uYhX
— Columbus, Georgia Police Department (@CPDGA) June 13, 2021
The detective later added that Roberts said, “I had to have him,” about one of his victims.
Roberts has been accused of shooting five people on three separate occasions in Alabama and Georgia. All of them are currently recovering from their injuries, according to Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon. He also said authorities found no evidence that the accused knew any of the men.
According to police, one man was injured in a shooting Friday night at a Phenix City hotel. Shortly after, three others were shot in Columbus. The fifth man was gunned down on Saturday.
The accused has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and theft by receiving a stolen weapon.
On Monday, Roberts appeared in court in Columbus for a hearing regarding one of the shootings where a man received a bullet in the back as he was getting into his car.
— Les White (@Kingsna42292358) June 15, 2021
Roberts said that men like these were “shooting at him in a wooded area with a slingshot,” and the wounds had caused a skin infection.
Police, however, found no evidence that supports that claim.
Public defender Robin King requested for Roberts to be checked for mental health problems, claiming that his client was suffering from delusions.
“The officer’s testimony has demonstrated that Mr. Roberts is having delusions and a disconnect from reality,” he told the judge.
The case will likely be sent to Muscogee Superior Court.
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