Justin Tyran Roberts told the detective “white males had taken from him, and also what he described as ‘military-looking white males’ had taken from him.”
A black man accused of wounding five people in shootings in Alabama and Georgia claimed he specifically targeted white men because he felt they “had taken from him all his life.”
Though police allege Justin Tyran Roberts was involved in three separate assaults that wounded five people Friday and Saturday in Columbus and Phenix City, he was in Columbus Recorder’s Court to face charges in just one of those incidents, a shooting around 2 p.m. Saturday under the Oglethorpe Bridge at Broadway and Fourth Street.
That’s where a man was shot in the back as he was getting into his vehicle in a parking area under the bridge, said Detective Brandon Lockhart, who quoted Roberts as telling police, “I had to have him.”
The victim was hit once in the back, but four bullets hit his vehicle, and police found six shell casings at the scene, Lockhart said.
Lockhart said Roberts told him that “white males had taken from him, and also what he described as ‘military-looking white males’ had taken from him.”
Roberts claimed these men shot “at him in a wooded area with a slingshot,” which left wounds on his body.
Police did not find any evidence to back up the claims.
Public defender Robin King asked that his client undergo a mental health evaluation. He said Lockhart’s testimony “has demonstrated that Mr. Roberts is having delusions and a disconnect from reality.”
Judge Julius Hunter agreed.
Roberts faces charges of aggravated assault, using a gun to commit a crime, and being a convicted felon with a firearm. The court denied him bond.
Here are the other shootings Roberts allegedly committed:
The weekend shooting spree began about 8:15 p.m. Friday outside the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 1400 Whitewater Ave. in Phenix City, where one man was wounded and taken to Piedmont Columbus Regional, Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon said at a news conference Saturday evening.
Phenix City police said the victim in that case, a white man with short hair, was getting out of his car when a gunman walked up and shot him, before fleeing across the 14th Street bridge into downtown Columbus.
Roberts matches the description of the assailant in that incident, and authorities expect to file charges against him in Alabama, police said.
That shooting was followed two hours later by gunfire in the 1000 block of Broadway, where two men and a woman were hit, said Blackmon, who described those victims as two white males and a Black female.
Blackmon said they do not have evidence Roberts knew any of his alleged victims.DONATE
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