Authorities say a suspect, who is accused of shooting and wounding five people in Alabama and Georgia, said that he did so because he was targeting white men.
The suspect is accused of staging three separate assaults in Columbus, Georgia, and in Phenix City, Alabama.
All the victims who were wounded in the attacks over the weekend are expected to recover.
What are the details?
According to a report from the
Associated Press, a detective testified Monday during a preliminary hearing that the suspect, 39-year-old black male Justin Tyran Roberts, admitted that the crimes were racially motivated.
Roberts reportedly told authorities that he targeted white males in the shootings because “white men had picked on him and wronged him for all his life.”
In a statement, Columbus Detective Brandon Lockhart said, “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.”
Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon said Sunday that there was no evidence that Roberts knew any of his victims.
According to a Fox News report Tuesday, Lockhart added that Roberts said, “I had to have him” about one of the white male shooting victims.
Judge Julius Hunter found probable cause to send Roberts’ case to Muscogee Superior Court, the Fox News report added.
Public defender Robin King has also reportedly requested a mental health evaluation in Roberts’ case, and said that he had been the victim of “delusions.”
“The officer’s testimony has demonstrated that Mr. Roberts is having delusions and a disconnect from reality,” King was said to have told Hunter.
Police announce arrest in connection to three weekend shootings in Columbus, Phenix City
Facebook post from the Columbus Police Department said, “On Saturday June 12, 2021, officers from the Columbus Police Department arrested Mr. Justin Tyran Roberts (B/M/39). In the preceding 20 hours he is believed to have carried out the following acts:
06-11-21 at approximately 2015 hours, he shot an individual multiple times at 1400 Whitewater Ave, Phenix City.
06-11-21 at approximately 2215 hours, he shot 3 persons in the area of 1032 Broadway in Columbus.
06-12-21 at approximately 1404 hours, he shot a person at 3rd Avenue and 4th Street in Columbus.
On today’s date, members of the Columbus Police Department organized a search and saturated the area of 3rd Avenue and 4th Street. At 1610 hours, the suspect, Justin Roberts was located and taken into custody without incident.”
Authorities arrested Roberts and charged him 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 stolen property (firearm).
According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, prosecutor Nicholas Hud said that Roberts has prior felony convictions, including an earlier case of having a stolen gun, and of being a convicted felon with a firearm.
Authorities also expect to file charges against him in Alabama, according to police. Additional warrants will be obtained for three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.