Mall murder suspect in court; Mayor says Albany safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mall murder suspect in court; Mayor says Albany safe

Quantravious Upshaw is charged in the shooting (Source: Dougherty Co. Jail) Quantravious Upshaw is charged in the shooting (Source: Dougherty Co. Jail)
The dead man was Terrence Bowen (Source: Dougherty Co. jail) The dead man was Terrence Bowen (Source: Dougherty Co. jail)

May 11, 2007

Albany -- A court appearance was held Friday for the man accused of murder at the Albany Mall. The shooting victim is identified as 41-year-old Terence Bowen.

Bowen was shot once in the chest according to Police. Jail records show he was booked into the Dougherty County Jail 14 times since 1999, mostly for traffic and probation violations.

Quantravious Upshaw, 24, is charged with his murder. Family members tell us he works in Tifton for an engineering firm.

Police say Bowen and Upshaw knew each other, fought in the breezeway to the Mall, then Bowen was shot outside the J. C. Penney store.

Police records say Upshaw was seen by an off duty officer running from the Albany Mall west entrance, where Bowen was shot and killed. The officer followed him to a car wash around the corner, where he was found with the nine millimeter gun used in the shooting.

Upshaw told the officer that Bowen tried to rob him with a knife, and that was why he shot him. Police recovered a knife and a ring in the parking lot shortly after the shooting, where Upshaw told them it would be. Upshaw also told Police that Bowen had tried to rob him in Tifton one year ago.

Investigators got security camera footage that may have shown the crime. J. C. Penney's surveillance camera was not working, but police got video from Dillard's and the Car wash where Upshaw was arrested.

This shooting not only shook people who shop at the Mall, but it got the attention of city leaders, too. That's because few places in Albany are as busy as the mall-- 90 percent of retails sales happen within one mile of there.

And Albany's economy would take a huge hit if people were scared to shop there.  It's the kind of crime that can quickly become a P. R. nightmare for a city--  a murder in broad daylight at a busy mall.

So even the Mayor got involved in the case.  Dr. Willie Adams said "These two people knew one another, and there was some ongoing feud between the two of them, allegedly over money. Unfortunately it deteoriated into a bad situation at the Mall. And there's very little we can do to try to prevent these events."

Albany Police Officer Brandi Chester was off duty at the Mall, and saw Quantravious Upshaw running and followed him. She caught him at the car wash across the street seconds later, while radioing for backup.

City Manager Alfred Lott said police handled the shooting as well as they could. Both the Mayor and City Manager say they are concerned about crime, Albany's image, and business. "I'd like to say to the people of Albany and surrounding towns, don't be afraid. Come to Albany and shop. We've got a very able bodied police Force."

Both the Mayor and City Manager said they are concerned about crime in Albany, but there was no way police could prevent a crime like this, and praised the way the suspect was captured so quickly.

Mayor Adams said a crime like this could happen anywhere, but he still feels Albany is a safe place. "I'm not going to tell people, to say I'm not afraid, but you should be careful."

A warning that South Georgians will no doubt remember the next time they go to the Albany Mall.

Police won't tell us much about the victim. WALB News 10 learned today that his family lives in the Wilmington, North Carolina area and he will likely be taken there for burial.

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