Four shot in Valdosta overnight -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Four shot in Valdosta overnight

Travis Stewart was found with multiple gunshot wounds at 2406 Oxford Drive minutes after the shooting on Emory Street Travis Stewart was found with multiple gunshot wounds at 2406 Oxford Drive minutes after the shooting on Emory Street
Chen Zhao was shot in the arm, and her son, William in the leg, in their apartment on Emory Street Chen Zhao was shot in the arm, and her son, William in the leg, in their apartment on Emory Street
Brian Childress Brian Childress

On Thursday afternoon, Valdosta Police issued arrest warrants for 40 year-old Tony Bean, the second suspect in the home invasion at 308-A on Emory Street early Monday morning.

Bean is currently in the Lowndes County Jail on unrelated charges. The arrest warrants were issued for one count of burglary, one count of party to the crime of aggravated battery, and two counts of party to the crime of aggravated assault.

Arrest warrants for 22 year-old Travis Stewart were issued on Monday afternoon in connection with the home invasion and shooting Monday night. Warrants were issued for two counts of aggravated assault and one count of burglary.
Just minutes after 11 p.m. Monday night, two men, one armed with a rifle the other with a handgun, kicked in the door to apartment A at 308 Emory Street in an attempt to rob the apartment. 56 year-old Chen Zhao was inside with her husband and 15 year-old son William Zhao.

"At some point during the incident, one of the offenders shot a round and struck the son in the lower torso or leg area. The wife ran to the back of the home where the husband was at and at that time she was shot in the arm," explained Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

Both Chen and her son William were taken to South Georgia Medical Center for treatment and are expected to recover.

But before the suspects could steal anything, the husband, Tian Zhao, came to the front of the home with a gun of his own and unloaded on the suspects. "During that incident, the two offenders were shot several times," said Childress.

The two suspects then ran from the apartment. But less than ten minutes later police got a suspicious call about another possible shooting just two blocks away at 2406 Oxford Drive.

"There, we identified another person, an individual, who said he had been shot multiple times," stated Childress. That person was 22 year-old Travis Stewart.

Childress said after looking at the information from both scenes, investigators concluded that Stewart was likely one of the suspects who attempted to rob the apartment on Emory Street.

As of Thursday afternoon, Stewart remained at SGMC. He is charged with one count of aggravated battery, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and one count of misdemeanor false report of a crime.  

The Valdosta Police Department issued this statement Tuesday morning-

On June 16, 2014 at approximately 11:02 pm, the Valdosta Police Department responded to 308-A Emory Street in reference to the report of a shooting. Officers arrived and were advised that two African American males forced open the front door, demanded money, and then fired several shots into the residence, striking Chen Zhao in the arm, and her son, William Zhao in the leg.

Zhao's husband, Tian Zhao, stated that he was in a back room when he heard the commotion and gunfire. Tian advised that he came to the front room of the residence with his handgun and fired several shots at the offenders who fled on foot.

While officers were on scene, within minutes of that call, a second call was received in reference to someone being shot at 2406 Oxford Drive. Officers arrived and located Travis Stewart inside the residence with multiple gunshot wounds.

Detectives from the Valdosta Police Department and a Crime Scene Technician from the Valdosta-Lowndes Regional Crime Laboratory responded to investigate. All the victims were transported by EMS to the South Georgia Medical Center ER.

The two incidents are believed to be related and persons of interest have been identified.  

Anyone having any further information regarding this crime or any other crime is urged to contact the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145 or can remain anonymous at 229-293-3091. VPD is continuing their investigation.

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