Police are trying to connect the recent burglary of a Harlem gun shop to a Nov. 30 slaying in Thomson.
According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Martin Moses, his department has begun ballistics testing on a 9 mm pistol, reported stolen Nov. 21 from the Gun Shack on Georgia Highway 78, to see if it matches bullets recovered from the body of 21-year-old Dallas Jermaines Ivey of Warrenton, Ga.
Mr. Ivey died less than an hour after being shot outside an apartment complex in east Thomson. Ronnie Eugene Johnson, 24, of Warrenton, was arrested the same day and charged with murder.
Agent Moses said a weapon was not found on Mr. Johnson. But the pistol in question was located in an abandoned apartment where witnesses said Mr. Johnson often stayed, he said.
With that discovery came the connection of the killing to yet another crime - one that a convicted felon and 16-year-old boy have now been charged in.
"In doing our investigation, we naturally ran the serial number on the pistol, found out it was stolen from Harlem and then we retained it to determine if it is in fact the murder weapon," Agent Moses said.
It turned out the pistol was one of 15 stolen from a Harlem store. Harlem Police Chief Willard Askew said the theft included 10 handguns, three shotguns and two rifles.
Shamarit Latee Carter, 22, of Shank Street in Thomson, has been charged in the case for forced entry burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and theft by receiving stolen property, according to Columbia County Detention Center records.
Chief Askew said his department began investigating Mr. Carter and the juvenile after receiving a tip from an informant.
So far, nine of the stolen weapons have been recovered, Chief Askew said, including the one being tested. He said seven of those guns were found Saturday buried in a wooded area of Warren County.
"The juvenile has fully confessed to it," he said.
The juvenile, whose name wasn't released because of his age, was taken to the Youth Detention Center to await a hearing. Mr. Carter was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center and released on bonds totaling $67,700.
Chief Askew said Mr. Carter and the juvenile were arrested before the Thomson slaying and are not suspects in that case.
Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 110.