Savannah, Georgia is known for its southern hospitality, rich history, quaint squares, food and nightlife. Also being situated on the coast makes the city a popular tourist destination in the Southeast United States.
However, last night, as the city celebrated Independence Day, violence struck in the heart of the downtown tourism district.
Shots rang out from a vehicle into a crowd gathered in City Market, which is a popular, outdoor shopping and dining area. The crowd was especially large given the holiday celebrations.
Three people were shot. Hundreds of people then stampeded away from the gunshots.
Police, who already had a strong presence in the area due to the celebration, quickly initiated a pursuit of the vehicle. The vehicle then crashed just a couple of blocks away, hitting a crowd of people standing on a corner.
One pedestrian was killed along with two people inside of the vehicle.
Police arrested the third person inside the vehicle and have charged that person with three counts of felony murder along with a list of other related charges.
While police have not released much information in the shooting, a local restaurant, The Grey, has announced on social media that it was their general manager, Scott Waldrup, who was killed in the crash. Scott is credited with helping The Grey to become a nationally recognized and ranked restaurant.
According to a local media report:
Jeffery Wilson, who was in town visiting from Hardeeville told New’s 3’s Courtney Cole that he witnessed most of the deadly incident. “I was at Whitaker, Eastbound, and the chase was coming west. The car–a white SUV– was driving with no headlights on, switching lanes of course. He just literally ran into the pole, and pushed somebody out the way. Literally, somebody got split in half.”
Another shooting was heard by police nearby as they were investigating the first shooting. Officers responded and found one person suffering from a non life threatening gunshot wound nearby. Police have not announced if the two incidents are related yet.
A brief press conference was held this morning by the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department that clarified some of the facts of the case (see video below). A more in depth press conference with the Chief of Police is expected this afternoon.