Benning Drive shooting suspect identified by lone survivor

benw@ledger-enquirer.comApril 29, 2014 

Reginald Jackson

The lone survivor of a deadly October 2013 shooting on Benning Drive identified a suspect while recovering from injuries at Midtown Medical Center, police said Tuesday during a Columbus Recorder’s Court hearing.

Travis Dashawn Porter identified Reginald Jamal Jackson, 23, as the gunman after Dior Cheney died in the 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29 shooting on Benning Drive and Head Street.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder in Cheney’s death, aggravated assault of Porter, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jackson was arrested by U.S. Marshals on April 14 while staying at an aunt’s home in Hemet, Calif., and driven back to Columbus, police said. He arrived in Columbus on Monday.

Judge Mary Buckner ordered Jackson held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail on the murder charge and set bonds totaling $40,000 on the other charges. All charges were bound over to Muscogee County Superior Court.

Police Cpl. Joby Duncan said Cheney and Porter came to Columbus from Macon, Ga., to buy a pound of marijuana from a crack house on Winston Road. But the marijuana wasn’t purchased because Porter couldn’t agree with the seller on a price.

Porter, who used to live in Columbus before moving to Macon, was in the area visiting other people when Cheney drove his 2010 Ford Focus to the intersection of Benning Drive and Head Street.Porter said that’s when a gunman wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a bicycle nearby opened fire on the car. About 14 to 15 shots were fired into the car that stopped at a utility police.

Porter was shot three times, twice in the buttocks and once in the abdomen. Cheney, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to the head. Porter ran from the area and a friend drove him to Midtown Medical Center for treatment.

The hooded gunman was seen running from the area and he dropped a pistol on the street. The man stopped, picked up the gun and fled. The bicycle was left at the scene but it was gone the next day. “No one identified the person on the bike,” Duncan told the court.

At the hospital, Porter viewed a photo lineup of possible suspects. Porter picked Jackson’s picture out of the lineup after a sheriff’s deputy showed him the photos. No other witness has identified Jackson in the shooting but other witnesses have provided circumstantial evidence, Duncan said.

The suspect was represented by criminal defense attorney Stacey Jackson, who asked whether police had any forensic evidence in the case. Duncan said police collected 14 to 15 shell casings from the scene.

With the number of casings found at the scene, Jackson’s attorney also questioned whether there was more than one shooter. Duncan said the shooting was done with one weapon with high magazine capacity. “I have no reason to believe there was more than one shooter,” he said.

Duncan and another detective were driving Reginald Jackson back from California when he admitted to selling crack from the house on Winston Road. He was at his girlfriend’s house on the day the shooting occurred, he told police. The next day he heard about the victims getting shot.

He said he had been selling drugs for money to pay Stacey Jackson. “He said he needed to come into some money to pay the attorney,” Duncan said.

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