Man who allegedly shot 5 people in Georgia, Alabama says he was targeting white men
“I had to have him,” Justin Tyran Roberts, the alleged shooter, said.
A man who went on a shooting spree over the weekend claims he was seeking revenge against white men.
Justin Tyran Roberts, 39, admitted to seeking out white men during the two-day attack in Alabama and Georgia during which five people were injured according to police. On Monday, a detective testified on Roberts’ alleged motive, per Ledger-Enquirer.
“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,” said the investigator.
The shooter also claimed those men were “shooting at him in a wooded area with a slingshot,” but physical evidence does not support the claim.
The attacks happened throughout Columbus, Ga. and Phenix City, Ala.
It all began on Friday around 8:15 p.m. A white man was getting out of his car at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Phenix City located at 1400 Whitewater Ave when he was shot. The victim was taken to Piedmont Columbus Regional and is described as a white man with short hair.
Roberts allegedly matches the description of the suspect who they claim fled the scene to the 14th Street bridge into downtown Columbus.
Then two hours later, a Black woman and two more white men were shot at the 1000 block of Broadway.
Around 2 p.m. on Saturday, Roberts allegedly shot another person getting into a vehicle under the Oglethorpe Bridge in Columbus. The victim was shot in the back but has been released from the hospital.
In regards to the Columbus victim, officers claim Roberts said “I had to have him.”
Officers found Roberts a couple of hours after the Oglethorpe Bridge shooting. He was sitting outside of 425 Third Ave. with a Taurus 9-millimeter pistol that had been stolen on Thursday.
Roberts public defender Robin King requested a mental health evaluation which Judge Julius Hunter obliged.
“The officer’s testimony has demonstrated that Mr. Roberts is having delusions and a disconnect from reality,” said the public defender.
Roberts, who is already a convicted felon, is being held without bond. He is charged with using a gun to commit a crime, being a convicted felon with a firearm, and aggravated assault in the bridge shooting.
In the attacks on the two men and one woman in Columbus, Roberts is facing using a gun to commit a crime, three counts of aggravated assault, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon assured the public at a news conference on Saturday.
“Uptown is safe. These recent shooting incidents that occurred in the last 24 hours have been isolated incidents,” he said. “We have not received any information that would indicate there was anyone else involved in these shooting incidents other than the person we have in custody.”
There is no evidence that the shooter knew his victims.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!