Over the weekend, Justin Tyran Roberts was allegedly involved in multiple separate shootings spanning the southern states of Georgia and Alabama. The 39-year-old man is accused of injuring five people during the attacks and eventually fessed up to police that he was targeting white men in the shooting spree, ”military-looking white males” in particular, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
The shootings began on Friday afternoon, June 18, when Roberts allegedly opened fire in the downtown Columbus, Georgia area, striking a victim who was later transported to a local hospital and treated for their non-life-threatening injuries.
Columbus police responded to another shooting where a male and female victim were discovered with gunshot injuries and also taken to a hospital. Two additional male shooting victims were found over the weekend, one in Columbus and one in nearby Phenix City, Alabama, which is located about 1.5 miles northeast of the western Georgia city.
No fatal injuries were reported in any of the shootings.
Roberts was arrested on Saturday for the crimes and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property, CNN reported. He was discovered in downtown Columbus by officers who found the 39-year-old’s stolen 9-millimeter pistol.
The weekend shooting spree began about 8:15 p.m. Friday in Phenix City. https://t.co/OCY2np1Svq
— The Ledger-Enquirer (@LedgerEnquirer) June 14, 2021
As police tried to establish a motive for the shootings, Roberts sat down with investigators and straight-up admitted to targetting white men as well as allegedly saying, “I had to have him” in reference to one of the victims, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. A detective testified on Monday that Roberts told them that the shootings were racially motivated.
Columbus Detective Brandon Lockhart told the Ledger-Enquirer that Roberts explained to investigators, “throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as ‘military-looking white males’ had taken from him,”
Roberts is also expected to face charges in Alabama over the Columbus/Phenix City shooting spree.