Man charged with murder in New Year's Day shootings

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 8, 2013 

The man Columbus police have been seeking in connection with the New Year's Day Club Majestic shootings surrendered to authorities Sunday and faces charges of murder and aggravated assault this morning in Columbus Recorder's Court, police said.

Police picked up Dequandrea Artavas Truitt about 11 p.m. Sunday, said police Lt. John McMichael.

Six people were wounded and one killed about 2:30 a.m. Jan. 1 when gunfire erupted at the 2102 Cusseta Road nightclub, officers said. Charles Foster Jr., 24, was fatally shot inside the building where five others sustained gunshot wounds, and a sixth person was shot in a car outside the club, investigators said.

Some victims were teenagers too young to be in a nightclub legally, they said.

Investigators initially said they believed Truitt wounded the teenager outside the club, shooting him in the back of the head and upper back. On Monday, police Lt. John McMichael said the suspect also has been implicated in the shootings inside the building where Foster was hit, so he is charged with murder in that homicide and with aggravated assault in the teen's shooting.

His preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court is set for 9 a.m. today.

Authorities said Phenix City police also have a warrant for Truitt's arrest on a charge of attempted murder.

Police said several of those wounded were 16- and 17-year-old boys, and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said an investigation is under way to determine whether the nightclub owner was in compliance with the law.

McMichael said police still are searching for a second suspect.

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