LPD: Weekend shootings not random acts of violence
Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016
By Melanie Ruberti
Weekend shootings not random acts of violence
LPD: Detectives continue search for more suspects
LaGRANGE – Two men remain behind bars in the Chambers County Jail in Alabama accused of shooting and killing a man outside a home in the 200 block of Newnan Street on Saturday night.
Coty Green, 21, of LaGrange, and Charles Loveless, 18, of West Point, each are charged with one count of murder and are awaiting extradition back to Troup County, said LaGrange police officials.
Green and Loveless allegedly are part of a group that rode in two cars to Newnan Street, opened fire and killed Devan Tucker just before 11 p.m., investigators said.
The two men were located in the Red Roof Inn in Valley, Ala., about 9 a.m. on Sunday, a report stated.
Other potential accomplices were also with Green and Loveless at the motel.
“There were several folks that were inside the room that ran when we did the initial knock on the door,” stated LPD Lt. Dale Strickland, commander of the Criminal Investigation Section.
The two men did not act alone in the incident – nor in a drive by shooting in Granger Park – less than an hour before the murder, LPD investigators stated.
At least two cars pulled into the upper parking lot at Hunnicutt Place and North Greenwood Street just after 10 p.m. and began firing into a crowd gathered in the park, a report stated.
No one was hurt.
The vehicles carrying the suspects fled the scene – as did some of the folks from Granger Park, said investigators. Police are hoping some of those witnesses will come forward.
“We’re actively pulling video from other places and still looking to get other folks from Granger Park identified, explained Strickland. “If you were at Granger Park at the time of the shooting, please call the LaGrange Police Department.”
When the gunmen pulled into LaGrange on Saturday night they reportedly had an intended target picked out and weapons loaded.
“This was not a random act of violence,” said Sgt. Mark Cavender, head of LPD’s Special Investigation Unit. “It was a targeted act from people who are from out of town.”
But investigators remained tightlipped as to “who” was the intended target and the motive behind the violence.
According to Strickland, members of Devan Tucker’s family were at Granger Park and at the home on Newnan Street Saturday night.
LPD investigators confirmed the two shootings were likely committed by the same group of people, which includes Green and Loveless.
“All or some of the same cars then went to Newnan Street where the murder occurred,” stated Strickland.
Investigators have not ruled out possibility the incidents were gang related.
“The case is being handled as a gang investigation because some of those (people) identified are known to have gang affiliations,” said LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar. “The people shot at Granger Park were being targeted … it was not random. Likewise, on Newnan Street.”
LPD investigators are comparing notes with the West Point Police Department.
D’Vonte Tucker, 23, was shot in the head in the 1200 block of East 14th Street in West Point on May 31, said WPPD officials. He died the next day at the University of Alabama hospital in Birmingham, Ala., according to Troup County Coroner Jeff Cook.
D’Vonte and Daven Tucker are brothers, confirmed LPD Sgt. William Nelson.
D’Vonte’s killer still has not been arrested, said officials.
Still, LPD officials are confident the weekend violence was an isolated incident.
Extra patrol units were on hand Monday morning in Granger Park at the request of the Troup County School system, investigators said.
LPD officers are also running special details to address criminal activity throughout the city – including the area around Newnan Street.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.