Multiple school districts across southwest Georgia received what appears to be false active shooter reports, leading some to implement soft lockdown protocols while those that did not increase security still increased security measures.
Police were called after 17-year-old Tanji Hallman texted her friend that she had been shot, with several teens present who possessed at least two weapons in her room, according to authorities.
Four teens were arrested following the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old girl in her bedroom. Police believe two guns were present when one went off and hit her; she died instantly at the scene while three others fled the home before they could be located nearby; three suspects were soon located nearby while they tracked down Jayden McCutchin, 18 at the time, along with two other minors charged with second-degree murder as parties to this crime and cruelty towards children; their names have yet to be made public due to being minors.
Brianna Long, 21, was struck down and killed while working at Remerton Pier Bar in South Georgia with her coworkers when gunfire erupted after some sort of altercation, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports. She died as she attempted to close up shop – her coworkers reported a gunshot erupted after closing up for good and it hit Long.
Once multiple calls were received, police and school officials immediately began combing through the area for signs of an active shooter. Once lockdown was declared, parents rushed onto campus in search of their children.
Some students were experiencing panic and anxiety attacks, which were treated by first responders on site. After law enforcement cleared out, parents could retrieve their children. Many were still crossing streets to reach parking lots to retrieve their kids as police cleared out campus grounds in an effort to find theirs quickly. It remains unknown what led to an active shooter threat being called in; though it appears it could have been a false alarm.
Suspect in custody
Police in southeast Georgia have arrested Richard Dale Crum, 52, of Vidalia on four separate murder charges. On Thursday he was charged with first-degree murder after allegedly killing both of his parents inside their Arkabutla Dam Road home before shooting two neighbors who attempted to leave; one survived to call 911 before police were dispatched and is currently in the Tate County Jail; Governor Tate Reeves believes it may have been committed alone.
Investigators carried out an intensive investigation that resulted in the suspect’s arrest. Investigators believe they were able to track down their target by comparing data from cellphones linked to each victim with data retrieved from him; in addition, a search history on his phone revealed content such as torture porn and other disturbing searches; furthermore, this individual also conducted research about victims as well as strategies for evasion from law enforcement authorities.
Authorities believe Heuermann managed to avoid capture for several days following the shootings until being apprehended Tuesday evening when he checked into a nearby hotel where he stayed and was then arrested.
Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mike Tierney issued a statement, noting Heuermann was taken into custody after an intensive search conducted by local, state, and federal agencies. Tierney added that Heuermann will remain held in jail without bail.
After receiving threats of violence against other local schools, other area institutions remained locked down until first responders reopened the main gate to allow parents to collect their children from school buses as usual. No injuries or shooters are present according to district officials.
11Alive’s Brittany Kleinpeter met with Brianna Long’s father. He expressed shock over what had occurred, wanting everyone to understand just how special his daughter was. Police indicate she attended Paulding County High School as a soccer player before working at The Pier bar in Remerton where she was shot outside and later died at South Georgia Medical Center. At this time, Brianna’s family requests privacy and respect.
Suspect charged with murder
Valdosta High School campus where the shooting took place. Authorities remain uncertain as to what led the shooter to act; school is on lockdown and parents have been advised to remain away until first responders complete their investigation.
Residents living near the high school have taken steps to remain cautious as they await news regarding its safety. Blinds remain closed while parents wait to hear whether their children are secure and what will become of its buildings.
At the time of this incident, Valdosta police received multiple calls from people reporting they saw or heard someone being shot near Valdosta High School’s parking lot. Officers quickly surrounded a home on Northside Drive after hearing reports that Tanji Hallman (later identified) texted her that she was shot before telling officers it was just a joke text message.
On Monday, police announced the arrest of Daquin Freeman as a person of interest in relation to the shooting incident. Freeman is being charged with first-degree murder and weapons charges; authorities claim they have strong evidence against him as they interviewed multiple witnesses – including a 17-year-old girl.
Police will soon provide more details of what transpired at the high school, holding a press conference tomorrow and unveiling the names of the victims.
One of the victims has been identified as a Valdosta State University student pursuing dental hygiene who was also part of their cheerleading squad. Her father, Justin Long, spoke out on Tuesday with 11Alive saying they are shocked and in disbelief over what has occurred.
Valdosta City Schools serves 2,358 students in grades 9 – 12, with 76% Black students, 15% White, and 6% Hispanic as its racial makeup. The teacher population numbers 133 with its diversity score at 0.40 which falls significantly short of the state average of 0.70. Schools that predominantly serve students of color tend to receive significantly less state and local funding compared with districts serving predominantly white students; DonorsChoose works towards closing this funding gap by giving donors the opportunity to fund projects that enhance learning for disadvantaged learners.
Suspect charged with cruelty to children
Today, multiple schools across Georgia were on high alert after reports of an active shooter were received. Later, it was determined that these threats were hoaxes and everyone was safe – with Valdosta police crediting local first responders for their swift and effective response in finding no shooters or injuries on campus; although first responders on site reported treating several panic and anxiety attacks experienced by students and staff members.
Quanice Meniefield was charged with second-degree cruelty against children on December 23. An affidavit alleges that Meniefield used duct tape to tie up and cause pain for a juvenile girl before reporting her injuries to police. A neighbor saw this and reported them.
Mansfield was arrested after a search warrant was executed at her home, setting an initial bond amount of $200,000. As per law enforcement policy she has been placed under electronic monitoring and cannot leave without being escorted by a law enforcement officer.
Mansfield has previously been accused of abusing her children. In 2012, she was charged with sex trafficking and abusing both children living under her care; at that time they lived together with their mother.
Mansfield had previously been found guilty of sex trafficking in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years. Additionally, she was found guilty of abusing her daughter by tying her up in such a way as to cause physical pain and again found guilty in 2022 – this time for another child and given an additional 78-month prison sentence. On November 7, the FBI Jacksonville and Marion County Public Schools will co-host a program for parents that helps teach kids how to be safer online by covering topics like cyberbullying, sexting, and other related dangers to young teens.