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Columbus police arrest man in LaVerne Apartments gunfight

A Columbus man accused of shooting two men at LaVerne Apartments in a gunfight on Old Cusseta Road last month was arrested Friday, police said Saturday.

Derrick Earl Shields, 22, was wanted by police after two men were injured, one seriously, Jan. 14 during a shootout at the 4174 Old Cusseta Road apartment complex. Shields is being held in the Muscogee County Jail on two counts of aggravated assault for a 2 p.m. Monday hearing in Recorder’s Court.

Almost four weeks after the shooting, Shields was arrested at Cross Creek Apartments on Steam Mill Road in Columbus.

He is the second suspect charged in connection with the shooting that riddled a pickup truck with bullets and scattered at least 20 shell casings in the apartment’s parking lot.

Timothy Jamal Dawkins, 21, was arrested shortly after the shooting. He was charged with two counts of first degree criminal damage to property, one count each of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, police said.

During a probe of the shooting, police said Dawkins and two men went to the apartment to meet two other men. When gunfire erupted, two men with Dawkins were shot. A 22-year-old was hit in the chest and upper right arm, while the second 21-year-old was struck in the leg.

All three left the area and drove about two miles away to McCartha Drive. The two injured men were found in the car, but a witness directed police to a nearby backyard to locate Dawkins. When arrested, he had 5 ounces of suspected marijuana valued at more than $1,000.

Police had said Dawkins knew at least one of the men shooting at him. Police didn’t specify Saturday how Shields was identified as a suspect.

In addition to the aggravated assault charges, Shields faces one count of battery with physical harm, two counts criminal damage to property in the first degree, two counts cruelty to children in the third degree, obstruction of a 911 call, one count of possession of drug-related objects, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of violating probation.

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