Church shooting details released

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 3:04 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 18, 2014 4:55 PM
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William "Bill" Rountree DaVitte was fatally shot at Marvin United Methodist Church about 10:30 Thursday night. A suspect was later arrested in Jacksonville, Fla.   JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
William "Bill" Rountree DaVitte was fatally shot at Marvin United Methodist Church about 10:30 Thursday night. A suspect was later arrested in Jacksonville, Fla.


Florida authorities captured a Jacksonville man early Friday suspected in a shooting Thursday night that killed a Martinez man and injured his wife.

Daniel Nelson Robinson, 21, was arrested several hours after he shot William “Bill” Rountree DaVitte, 55, and injured his wife in the parking lot of Marvin United Methodist Church, police said.

“We don’t know who he was here visiting, what his business was here,” Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

DaVitte and his wife, Jennifer “Jenny” Wright DaVitte, 64, of Cutter Mill Road, had gone to the church on Wheeler Road at Belair Road about 10:30 p.m. to turn on the sprinkler system. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Elizabeth Ackerman, said DaVitte, a longtime Marvin member, often volunteered with the grounds maintenance.

“It’s just hard when you have someone so many people in the church have known and someone who is kind and humble and soft-spoken,” Ackerman said. “He was serving. He was doing good. It’s just hard.”

DaVitte’s wife was in the passenger seat of their 2010 Nissan Murano in the parking lot when Robinson approached her, police said.

“He tapped on the window and demanded she open the door,” Morris said. “And he started beating her with the handgun.”

DaVitte came running when he heard his wife scream and honk the horn. As he approached, police said, Robinson shot him three times. Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said he pronounced DaVitte dead at the scene.

His wife was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center, treated and released, Morris said.

Collins said Friday morning that he was at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta, where he had taken DaVitte’s body for an autopsy. Morris said Robinson drove away in the couple’s vehicle.

“One witness was nearby, heard the screams and heard the shots and saw the vehicle drive away, but did not see any additional vehicle,” Morris said, adding that officials believe Robinson was in the area on foot.

Morris said the deputies received some indication the suspect was headed to Florida and notified authorities there.

Police spotted the vehicle just before 5 a.m. near Jacksonville and pursued it, Morris said. Robinson abandoned the vehicle and ran, but was quickly captured.

Robinson, who is being held in Florida, will be extradited to Columbia County, but Morris said no firm plans have been set as to when that would occur. He was charged with motor vehicle theft, resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless driving, trespassing and driving without a license, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records.

Since 2011, Robinson has been arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at least seven times.

One of the most serious incidents took place when he was 18 years old and was arrested for pulling a gun on a truck driver in traffic, according to The Florida-Times Union newspaper.

The truck driver said a man in a white Acura cut him off in traffic. When the driver yelled that’s how “accidents happen and people get hurt,” Robinson responded by pulling out a revolver and saying, “Oh, people gonna get hurt?”

Police tracked Robinson and a passenger with dogs and a police helicopter. The car, which was abandoned, had been stolen.

Records indicate Robinson was released from jail in February.

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Stunned 2
5827
Points
Stunned 2 08/15/14 - 02:25 pm
13
0
Chivirous, Polite, Kind, God-Loving and Good-Looking

That's what I think of - when I think of Bill Davitte. Our Community has lost a very, very good man. He has always been that way. His granddaddy had a little store out in Evans "Roundtree's" - at the fork - where Old Evans Rd. intersected into Washington Rd. (before that curve & light were engineered in for the Columbia County population boom). Not many men like him left.

seenitB4
93356
Points
seenitB4 08/15/14 - 03:05 pm
12
0
Amazing isn't it

Arrested 7 times & still roaming around town...

jdsgirl63
3147
Points
jdsgirl63 08/15/14 - 03:06 pm
7
0
Truly heartbreaking. My

Truly heartbreaking. My sincerest condolences to the family.

Walter Schmidt
77
Points
Walter Schmidt 08/15/14 - 03:20 pm
10
0
Daniel Robinson

Whatthey ought to do with trash like this is is strap him in a chair , pass enough voltage through him to light up Atlanta, and let God judge him. I believe it will be hotter where he ends up than in "Old Sparky", that is, if the devil is stupid enough to let his soul in, which isn't a Gimme. Even Empusa himself has standards,the lowest of which, garbage like this can't approach. Don't let him loose again, ever, and don't saddle Georgia tax payers with his total support for the next 60 or so years.

Fiat_Lux
16200
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/15/14 - 03:25 pm
13
0
There are millions like this savage

A long time ago we decided as a society not to have any standards for right and wrong, good and bad, so creatures like this record sicko never learned anything about self-control or respect for others. He doesn't even respect himself.

He really is nothing more than an animal that clearly has learned to live by taking whatever he can get from other people. He's a parasite, and a dangerous one.

And he's probably reproduced himself as well.

cush1944
12259
Points
cush1944 08/15/14 - 03:43 pm
10
0
The animal needs to be put

The animal needs to be put down like a mad dog.

TrulyWorried
16053
Points
TrulyWorried 08/15/14 - 05:30 pm
12
0
Stop

calling criminals animals! Animals don't do the awful things humans do.
Public hanging - like in medieval times would be a good deterrent.

jmo
17629
Points
jmo 08/15/14 - 06:04 pm
9
0
Fry him.....

to a crisp.

Jake
33315
Points
Jake 08/15/14 - 07:55 pm
12
0
The name...

…Davitte struck a familiar chord with me and when I read the Roundtree's store item above then I remembered. Mr. Davitte (I am assuming the father of the victim) used to have a dairy farm on the corner of Hereford Farm and Gibbs Road. We used to sell him hay when I worked for Doc Mullins when he had his spread on Washington Rd. Really nice people, the Davitte's.
I echo the sentiments of fellow posters when they call for the head of this scumbag who would murder an innocent individual.

Pops
12165
Points
Pops 08/15/14 - 08:26 pm
10
0
What a blank stare

from those soulless eyes........just looking at that guy makes you wonder how anyone could be so base and inhuman............

blues550
380
Points
blues550 08/16/14 - 12:07 am
0
0
Hang Him
Unpublished

When this 'hole gets back to Columbia County all we need is a rope and a tree.

Bacon Grease
331
Points
Bacon Grease 08/16/14 - 02:49 am
10
1
Conceal carry.

Every law abiding citizen needs to arm themselves and conceal carry one jacketed hollow point would have prevented this.

myfather15
55824
Points
myfather15 08/16/14 - 06:10 am
6
0
Bacon

I agree!! If Mr. Davitte had been carrying, when his wife was being assaulted, he could have approached with the firearm already drawn and at least stood a chance!!

This is so sad, as these were just defenseless, good people who encountered a heartless killer as a result of bad timing!! Could happen to any of us at any given moment.

iaaffg
3144
Points
iaaffg 08/16/14 - 06:23 am
5
0
prayers and sympathy to the
Unpublished

prayers and sympathy to the family of mr. davitte.

iaaffg
3144
Points
iaaffg 08/16/14 - 06:28 am
7
0
as for the sodding wanker who
Unpublished

as for the sodding wanker who shot him: numerous comments above pretty much say it all. it's just too bad such an insignificant piece of turd like you ever crossed paths with these good people. the ironic thing is, had you approached them in a fashion other than what you did, to ask for help, they probably would have gladly done so.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 08/16/14 - 07:15 am
6
1
There will be a lot of outrage over this

oh wait, no there won't be. As a community, state and nation we will just accept it as "par for the course" and get on with our lives. Good thing the shooter didn't break a fingernail getting away - there would be a candle-light vigil and protest. Sadly there are many more potential murderers than there are caring humble people who just want to help out in their church. I guess we just better get used to it.

vibe1
64
Points
vibe1 08/16/14 - 09:14 am
4
0
Enough

Bill and Jenny, and their families and friends, should never have had to endure this. Nor should any good person of this community or nation. Enough is enough. It is time to fight back......

sawgrass
2234
Points
sawgrass 08/16/14 - 09:38 am
10
1
double standard

Where are the white mobs burning, rioting, looting and robbing? Where is Reverend Al and his band of clowns who swoop down to gain media attention and stir the crowds into a frenzy? Mr. Davitte was shot and killed in cold bold. He was unarmed. However, none of this has made national news.

blues550
380
Points
blues550 08/16/14 - 10:01 am
0
0
Hate Crime
Unpublished

I supposed since this is black on White crime it would be too much to say this is a hate crime?

raul
5500
Points
raul 08/16/14 - 10:01 am
8
0
The story should be sent to

The story should be sent to every judge this scum bag has stood before for his previous criminal acts. He shouldn't have been walking free to commit this atrocious act.

jimmymac
45233
Points
jimmymac 08/16/14 - 10:38 am
1
0
SAWGRASS
Unpublished

You are so right about the double standard that exists in this country and most folks are fed up with it. Disgusting pigs using a shooting to justify rioting, stealing and the media is on the side of the rioters. I heard them say you can understand the peoples frustrations as some sort of free pass. The people who should be rioting are the whites who are far more victimized than by blacks than blacks by whites. Our current POTUS and Atty Gen. want to investigate the incident because a black was killed. I wonder when they'll investigate when an innocent white is killed?

grinder48
2038
Points
grinder48 09/16/14 - 02:00 pm
0
0
Richmond Summit
Unpublished

Have said it over and over, the Richmond Summit is a downtown killer. If you really want to improve downtown and make folks want to go there, need to get rid of the Richmond Summit.

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