Polk Police Cpt. Ray Sullivan said that between 2:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., Cedartown resident Derrick “Tay Tay” Williams, 24, and 22-year-old Terrell “Tee Tee” Brown, 22, 440 Springdale Rd., Rockmart, were shot by two men driving a silver/blue Buick Park Avenue.
The suspects, who were later apprehended by Rockmart Police, were identified as Ryan Darrell “Skip” Jones, AKA “Ryan Darrell Carter,” 21, South Holland, Ill., and James Elbert “Fife” Blackwood, 23, 435 Hogue Ave., Rockmart. They have both been charged with obstruction of an officer, while Jones was given the additional charge of giving false information upon being stoppped by Rockmart police.
Officers said Jones and Williams were driving vehicles in the area when they had a dispute allegedly over a female acquaintance. According to Sullivan, Jones shot at Williams and his passenger, Brown; both soon returned fire.
“The individuals were in their vehicles when they got into a verbal altercation on the west side of Rockmart near the Euharlee St., Morgan Valley Rd. and Second St. area. That led to shots being fired by Jones,” said Sullivan. He elaborated that Rockmart’s west side is a high-crime hot-spot for drug violators. “It’s a well-known drug area,” the police captain said.
Williams, he reported, was shot in the thigh and on the mid- to upper-back. Brown was reportedly struck in the upper thigh. The suspects, however, escaped without injury.
The victims were soon transported to the Floyd Medical Center. FMC public relations personell said Williams and Brown were treated and released Monday.
Sullivan said that following the shooting, Williams and Brown fled the area. They were chased for an unknown amount of time before Jones and Blackwood stopped. The victims, then, went to Brown’s Springdale Rd. address, while the suspects drove to Blackwood’s apartment at 435 Hogue Ave.
After speaking with several witnesses, Polk investigators issued a lookout for Jones’ Buick. Soon thereafter, Rockmart police located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop on Hogue Ave. when the suspects exited the car and went into Blackwood’s apartment. Both men were questioned and soon arrested.
“At 440 Springdale Rd., we retrieved evidence from the car,” stated Sullivan. He explained that Sgt. Kikki Campbell and members of the Polk County Police patrol division found .45-caliber shell casings as well as the bullet entry points, but did not locate a weapon. The investigators, however, did recover a quantity of suspected crack cocaine and suspected marijuana in the victims’ car, which has not been directly linked to either victim.
Later, the investigators went to the Hogue Ave. address where Blackwood and Jones were arrested. At the location, police found more shell casings and bullet holes on the Buick. Investigators still could not find a weapon.
Sullivan said, “Both cars had two-to-three entry points as a result of the gunshots.”
As of press time, no charges have been filed on Williams or Brown. Currently, Jones and Blackwood are being held at the Polk County Jail. In addition to the Rockmart Police charges, Jones is being held for aggravated assault while Blackwood has been charged with being a party to a crime by aggravated assault. As the investigation continues, the suspects and the victims may face other charges.
The subjects involved, Sullivan said, are well-known to police. “All of them have extensive criminal histories,” he said. While the shooting participants have been involved in past illegal activity, investigators do believe the dispute was criminal-related. “At this point,” Sullivan said, “we do not believe this was a turf war.”