Crime

5 men started fatal gunfight trying to rob apartment of drugs and money, police say

Columbus man dead after Sunday night shooting in Columbus

A Columbus man is dead after a Sunday shooting at the Sands Apartments. Boulevard. Derrick Scott, 34, was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m. at Piedmont Columbus Regional midtown campus, said Muscogee County Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley.
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A Columbus man is dead after a Sunday shooting at the Sands Apartments. Boulevard. Derrick Scott, 34, was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m. at Piedmont Columbus Regional midtown campus, said Muscogee County Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley.

Derrick Maurice Scott was shot in a gunfight when he and another man inside Columbus’ Sands Apartments fought back as five armed men tried to force their way into Apt. 8 to rob the person living there of drugs and money, a detective testified Friday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

Three intruders armed with handguns went to the front door the night of Dec. 9, 2018, and two armed with a handgun and a rifle went to a rear entrance, Cpl. Jason Carden said during a preliminary hearing for Demetrius Domingo Anton Pride, 18.

Pride was one of the suspects at the front door, when the shooting started, Carden said, adding “multiple shots” were fired.

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A Columbus man is dead after a Sunday shooting at the Sands Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, authorities said. Derrick Scott, 34, was pronounced dead of a gunshot in the emergency room at 11:26 p.m. at Piedmont Columbus Regional midtown campus, said Muscogee County Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley. His body will be sent to the crime lab in Decatur on Tuesday for an autopsy. Mike Haskey mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

Police were called at 10:44 p.m. to check on someone wounded at the 1213 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. apartments. Rushed to Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Midtown Campus, Scott died in the emergency room at 11:26 p.m. He was 34.

Finding surveillance cameras were monitoring the apartments, investigators checked the recordings and retrieved “high-quality” images of the gunmen, which officers disseminated through news media to seek the public’s help identifying the suspects, Carden said. That resulted in “numerous tips” that included people who recognized Pride, he said.

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Arrested Wednesday with another suspect, Christian Caulton, Pride now is one of five charged with murder in Scott’s homicide. Caulton, 19, also was to have a hearing Friday, but his attorney was not available, so that was postponed until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Pride was represented Friday by attorney Angela Dillon, who said her next step in his defense will be to ask a Superior Court judge to set a bond for Pride. Recorder’s Court Judge Julius Hunter ordered he be held without bond Friday.

When Dillon asked Carter what police found inside the apartment, he said “multiple-type drugs” and money. Asked what kind of drugs, he said that evidence was being tested at the crime lab.

Police also found two guns that Scott and the resident had, but none of the suspects’ weapons, he said.

Besides murder, Pride is charged with using a gun to commit a crime and a misdemeanor count of giving police a false name.

When U.S. Marshals and a police special operations unit arrived Wednesday to capture Caulton and Pride in an apartment near Cusseta Road and 32nd Avenue, Caulton “bailed out” a window and quickly was caught, Carden said.

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As they checked the identifications of others in the home, officers noticed one looked like Pride, but they had only an old police mugshot for reference, the detective said. Pride twice gave them other names and dates of birth until they confirmed his identity through fingerprints, Carden said.

Anyone with more information on the homicide may contact Carden at 706-225-4395 or jcarden@columbusga.org.

Outside Recorder’s Court, Scott’s sister Saundra Shelton said her family is relieved that all five suspects now are in jail. “It won’t bring my brother back, but at least I know they have them in custody,” she said.

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Derrick “Heavyset” Scott was remembered as someone who wouldn’t bother anyone at a vigil Dec. 12, 2018 in the Martin Luther King Jr. shopping center parking lot. Facebook

“We’ve already been through a hard time dealing with this situation, and then with (police) trying to find them, it’s like, ‘OK, where are they? Are they going to be caught? Is it going to be two years down the road, and they’re still looking for them?’”

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Shelton, 44, said Scott was her only sibling. “He was like my baby,” she said.

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