Across the area

Police seek suspect in man's fatal shooting


Police are looking for a suspect considered armed and dangerous who they believe fatally shot one man and wounded two others early Saturday morning.

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are looking for Nicholas Nathaniel Johnson, 20, of the 3100 block of Bellmeade Drive, who is charged with murder, two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew.

At 3:25 a.m., police say Mr. Johnson fatally shot Tremayne Markis Cobbs, 20, in the parking lot of Econo Lodge in the 2000 block of Gordon Highway.

Witnesses said the men had been arguing when more than 10 shots were fired into a silver Chevrolet Suburban.

Two other victims, Exzavius Bray, 16, and Danvanqwez Burley, 19, were shot in their legs, Sgt. Chew said. Both were released from the Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics on Saturday.

Police have obtained surveillance video that could identify other suspects. Anyone with information about Mr. Johnson's whereabouts can contact the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1080.

Domestic argument led to mall incident

An argument between a man and the mother of his child led to Friday's incident at Augusta Mall's parking lot in which several people were hit by a car.

Keith Lavelle Varner Jr., 19, is charged with four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated assault family violence after police say he ran into the mother of his child, their 6-month-old baby and four other people about 9 p.m. Friday night, Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew said.

Mr. Varner was arguing with his child's mother, Reneshia Williams, outside the mall when he saw her walk out of the building.

Mr. Varner backed up his vehicle and rammed into Ms. Williams, their child and the others. They were transported to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics, Sgt. Chew said. Ms. Williams and her infant were not injured, but the other four were treated for cuts, bruises and possibly a broken hip.

Mr. Varner is in the Richmond County jail without bond.

Goodwill hopes for donations after fire

Goodwill officials say they hope by Wednesday to reopen an Aiken donation facility damaged by fire Friday night.

No one was injured, but more than 20,000 items of clothing and household items were lost after the fire broke out about 7 p.m. at the Whiskey Road Emporium, a press statement said.

Tax deductible monetary donations can be mailed to: Goodwill Works Foundation at PO Box 212668; Augusta, GA 30917, or call (706) 564-4521. CSRA donation locations:

- Aiken: Goodwill Emporium, 1400 Whiskey Road, (803) 644-4601

- Augusta: Goodwill Emporium, 3120 Peach Orchard Road, (706) 790-3800

- Goodwill Donation Center; 3021 River Watch Parkway, Suite E, (706) 650-5760

- Goodwill Donation Truck; Augusta Exchange Shopping Center (Next to Target, in front of Circuit City)

- Martinez: Goodwill Emporium, 4047 Washington Road, (706) 855-8559

Man claims 3 people robbed him at motel

Aiken authorities are seeking three people after a man reported being robbed at the Econo Lodge, 3560 Richland Ave. West.

According to the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the robbery took place about 3:45 p.m.

The victim said he was in his motel room when he was approached by a white female and two black males. As the three entered the room, they closed the door behind them. One man put a handgun to the victim's head and he was robbed of cash, a cell phone, a .40-caliber Ruger pistol and several pairs of shoes.

The robbers left in two vehicles. The first is described as a 1991 Toyota Camry with South Carolina tag CSH914. The second vehicle is believed to be a dark blue car similar in shape and size to a Ford Crown Victoria.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Aiken Public Safety at (803) 642-7620. Callers can call the tip line at (642) 7799. Callers may also call Crime stoppers of the midlands at 1-888 CRIME-SC and remain anonymous. Callers may be eligible for a cash reward of $50-$1,000.

Teacher from Colquitt County is recognized

A Colquitt County educator has been named Georgia's Teacher of the Year.

Gwen Desselle, a teacher for 32 years, was honored Friday by state officials at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. One of the 10 finalists was Michele Rigsby, a BelAir Elementary School teacher in Columbia County.

Ms. Desselle, a high school social studies teacher, will spend the next school year traveling the state, speaking about her profession and conducting workshops for educators.