Valdosta man wanted for murder of Adel store owner -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta man wanted for murder of Adel store owner

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) –A dangerous murder suspect and accused serial armed robber is on the run in south Georgia Friday night.

Authorities in Lowndes County almost caught him Thursday night after a chase on I-75. They did arrest a Valdosta man who was with him.

This is 21-year-old Derek McKinnon. He's wanted for the murder of the Adel Quick Stop store owner 56-year-old Dasharatbhai Patel. He was shot and killed on December 14 and his son Tapan was wounded. Last night, Lowndes County authorities stopped the Ford truck he was driving in Valdosta.

McKinnon ran away but the passenger, 20-year old Charles Williams, was arrested. He admitted the two had just robbed a convenience store in Hamilton County, Florida. And that's not all.

"The driver of the vehicle got out and ran," said Lowndes Sheriff Chris Prine. "We were able to capture the passenger. At that time after questioning we found he was involved in the robbery in Hamilton County as well as the robbery of the convenience store on 41 south."

These are photos of that robbery. They show Williams and McKinnon walking into the Quick Change convenience store on Highway 41 in Lowndes County December 30th.

Last night, Cheryl Waldron saw the man being pulled over from her bedroom window shortly before nine last night.

"I was looking out the window and I saw blue lights and I heard them tell them "you better stop" and I said I better go out because it's gonna be a foot chase," said Waldron. "We looked out for about an hour."

The Ford truck the men were in was headed north on I-75 when they were spotted by Lowndes County authorities. Minutes later they were stopped close to this speed limit sign on Beck street.

"He ran straight through this way through the woods and on he went," said Waldron.

Arrest warrants have been issued for McKinnon.

"He is considered to be armed and very dangerous at this time," said Sheriff Chris Prine.

If you have any information on McKinnon's whereabouts, contact the Adel Police, the GBI or the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

There was another armed robbery in Valdosta Friday afternoon. Authorities don't think McKinnon was involved.

A gunman held up the Citgo on Bemiss around 12:25 and got away in a gold 4-door car.

He's black, around 6 feet tall, bald or with a low haircut.

He was wearing a gray jacket with a brown collar, desert style camouflage pants, and white tennis shoes.

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