UPDATE: Man dead in west Savannah incident; Mayor says police officer involved
One person is dead on Augusta Avenue at Cummings Street in West Savannah in a late morning incident.
The man was pronounced dead on scene just after the 11 a.m. incident, said Savannah-Chatham police spokesman Julian Miller. The man’s body remains covered on the street.
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson has said a metro police officer was involved in the shooting, prompting a call to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over control of the investigation.
“This is a sad day in our community,” she said, adding that she has spoken with family members of the deceased and that the community will know what happened.
Augusta Avenue this afternoon cordoned off for several blocks with crime scene tape.
Metro police command staff, including Interim Chief Julie Tolbert, were on scene, and a large crowd of bystanders had gathered on Eagle Street near the crime scene tape.
Savannah-Chatham police were securing the crime scene early in the afternoon until GBI agents arrived. ATF agents were also on the scene.
No further information was immediately available, Miller said. He added that Tolbert would release a statement later in the afternoon.
At 1:51 p.m. Thursday the Chatham Emergency Management Agency sent a robo-call to 286 people, including volunteers and representatives from local hospitals, city government and Georgia Power, who are registered to work in its emergency operations center, or EOC. The message said:
“Hello. This is a message from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency. There is a potential civil unrest situation. All Emergency Operations Center staff are asked to stand by and be prepared to staff the downtown EOC if necessary. Once again this is a message from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency. There is a potential civil unrest situation. All Emergency Operations center staff are asked to stand by and be prepared to staff the downtown EOC if necessary. Thank you.”
Spokeswoman Meredith Ley said the call was standard protocol, whether it’s a manmade or natural disaster. Similar calls are made for St. Patrick’s Day and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, she said. The decision to place the call Thursday was made internally at CEMA, “based on us working with the police and listening to what’s going on,” Ley said. It wasn’t based on the report of a shooting by a police officer per se but on “the civil unrest and how things could possibly escalate quickly,” she said.
“This is an attempt for us to be prepared so if the situation escalates quickly we are ready to move to the EOC quickly and wouldn’t be wasting precious time,” she said. The EOC bring together key community partners in one place so they can work together.
The assembled crowd at the scene has been peaceful.