Justin Tyran Roberts racist shooting spree leads to black male shooting 5 random people in Columbus, Georgia & Alabama over 20 hours, motivated by race.
A black male suspect accused of going on a 20-hour, two-state shooting spree that led to five random individuals wounded reportedly told cops he was motivated by race and intentionally targeted ‘military-looking’ white men he believed wronged him.
Justin Tyran Roberts, 39, was arrested Saturday by police in Columbus, Georgia, where cops say he wounded four people including two white men and one black female during separate attacks late Friday and Saturday afternoon.
Roberts is also accused of shooting a white man in the back at a hotel in Phenix City, Alabama, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Police said one person was hurt in a shooting Friday night at a hotel in Phenix City. Less than two hours later Friday, three people were shot in Columbus. A fifth person was shot Saturday afternoon.
Detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday that Roberts told police following his arrest that he ‘had to have’ one victim who was shot in the back as he got into a car under the Oglethorpe Bridge in Columbus.
‘military-looking white males’
‘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,’ Lockhart testified, recalling what Roberts allegedly told investigators.
Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon said Saturday that all of the victims were expected to recover. Investigators also found no evidence that Roberts knew any of the shooting victims, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Roberts also claimed that white men had been ‘shooting at him in a wooded area with a slingshot,’ but police found no evidence to back up that assertion, Lockhart testified.
Roberts, a convicted felon, was found with a Taurus 9mm pistol that had been stolen Thursday when he was arrested, Lockhart said.
The alleged shooting spree started on Friday at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Phenix City, where a man was hospitalized following a random attack, Blackmon said Saturday.
Hours later, two white males and a black female were shot elsewhere in Columbus, WRBL reported.
Roberts is charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault and gun charges in connection to being a convicted felon in that case.
Roberts appeared in court Monday to face charges in one of the shootings and his public defender asked a judge to order that he undergo a mental health evaluation, claiming that Lockhart’s testimony showed the man is ‘having delusions and a disconnect from reality,’ according to the report.
The judge agreed and sent Roberts’ charges of aggravated assault, using a gun to commit a crime and being a convicted felon with a firearm to Muscogee Superior Court.
Roberts, whose attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf Monday, was ordered held without bond after a prosecutor cited the random shootings and his alleged racial motive. He’s expected to appear for a preliminary hearing in one of the shootings Tuesday, the Ledger-Inquirer reported.