A 32-year-old man who was shot in the back of the head during a dispute died early Wednesday at The Medical Center, authorities said.
Curtis Taron Turner of Columbus was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head at about 6 a.m. at the hospital, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said. His body was sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy.
Police Sgt. Lance Deaton said an investigation has revealed the shooting occurred on Tennessee Drive near Monticello before police were called to a fatal traffic accident at Monticello and Claradon Avenue. The vehicle, driven by Turner, ran into the back of a residence that is located on North Oakley Drive.
“When they got there, they felt like it was something more to it,” Deaton said. “The victim appeared to have a gunshot wound. He indeed had been shot and it became a murder, not a fatality.”
A woman passenger who was injured in the accident was being treated at The Medical Center.
Police are in the early stages of the investigation, checking leads, video and talking to people. There is no evidence the shooting death is drug related.
“There is no evidence at this time that it is drug related,” Deaton said. “I’m not saying it can’t be. I’m saying there is no evidence to support that.”
Betty Turner, the victim’s mother, said her son was released from a Georgia prison less than a month ago. She last saw him at his father’s home in Forrest Park about 11 p.m. Tuesday.
“He wasn’t alive 30 days after he was released,” the mother said. “He didn’t have a weapon and I have a feeling that he had got some drugs and tried to sell them. I don’t know why the guy was trying to rob him or what they were doing.”
Turner said her son started using drugs when he was 14 and he was treated for mental health while in prison.
“They should have put him somewhere besides out here on these streets,” she said. “They released him out here.”
The mother said she doesn’t believe her son was using drugs but may have been trying to sell them.
“I told him not to get back out in those streets trying to sell no drugs,” she said.
To get his life back on track, the mother said her son was trying to get papers filed for disability.
“You don’t take a patient from mental health out of jail and released them in the public,” the mother said. “You can’t do that. They need to be up under close supervision at all times. I think they just released him to get killed. I really do.”