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Police arrest suspect in fatal motel shooting

A man was arrested Saturday in a fatal shooting that morning at a motel.

Nathaniel Smith, 24, of Walnut Street, was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to jail records.

The killing occurred about 4:35 a.m. at Riverside Inn, 954 Fifth St., according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office dispatcher.

The victim was identified as Gary Bernard Gregory, 46, of East Taylor Street, said Deputy Coroner Johnny McDonald.

Mr. Gregory was shot in the head, Mr. McDonald said based on preliminary findings. His body was found by an acquaintance who was visiting his room, according to the sheriff's office.

He was declared dead at 5:40 a.m. His body is at the GBI Crime Lab on Phinizy Road, where an autopsy will likely be performed today, Mr. McDonald said.

Deputies arrested Mr. Smith about 11 a.m. when they raided a home in the 200 block of Aragon Drive. Investigators have not determined a motive, but Mr. McDonald said robbery is a possibility.

Mr. Gregory's relatives said he had a large sum of money on him, Mr. McDonald said.

Teenager drowns in lake

A teenage boy drowned Saturday afternoon while swimming in Thurmond Lake at Wildwood Park near Appling, according to authorities.

The 17-year-old, whose name authorities won't release until family members have been contacted, was swimming with three friends, said Columbia County deputy coroner Bonnie Holloway.

"He just kind of went out above his head, and he panicked," she said.

Emergency services received a call about a possible drowning about 3:10 p.m., according to dive team spokeswoman Honey Shore. A member of the county's Dive Rescue Recovery Team found the body about 4:15 p.m., Ms. Shore said.

Foul play is not suspected, Ms. Holloway said.

Comments (19) Add comment
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Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/19/09 - 02:31 am
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I thought they'd already

I thought they'd already released the name of the teenager...I thought so. Breaking news story--"Christopher Smith, 17, of Ventana Drive, Evans, a Greenbrier High student, was swimming with three friends, said Columbia County deputy coroner Bonnie Holloway. "

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 07/19/09 - 06:41 am
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A teenager that can't swim

A teenager that can't swim just doesn't make sense. Swimming is so easy to learn. In just minutes, with basic instruction, you can learn to float, tread water, and dog paddle. You don't have to be Michael Phelps to be safe in the water. Tragedies like this are so needless.

augusta49
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augusta49 07/19/09 - 06:46 am
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Well Patricia.....it said

Well Patricia.....it said that he panicked. There are dropoffs on the bottom at the lake. He may have gotten cramps. There are a number of reasons why people drown. And....most people that drown, CAN SWIM. Just like...some people that get in wrecks....CAN DRIVE. He may have gotten bit by something.
He may have had a seizure. He may have just plain gotten sick. GEEZ!!!!!

ladyjanegrey
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ladyjanegrey 07/19/09 - 07:29 am
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calm down

calm down augusta....maintain....it's all gonna be ok...........

stovall st
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stovall st 07/19/09 - 07:37 am
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patricia what dam rock did

patricia what dam rock did you crawl out from under ? you sound like a f---ing know it all. duh:

augusta49
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augusta49 07/19/09 - 08:04 am
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Thank you bowtie!!!!

Thank you bowtie!!!!

missaugusta07
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missaugusta07 07/19/09 - 08:36 am
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Amen !

Amen !

struggling parent
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struggling parent 07/19/09 - 08:46 am
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Patricia you finally proved

Patricia you finally proved it to everyone that you are an idiot!! Like they say you don't know anything about the situation. How many times has it be reiterated that you should not swim alone or why they urge lifeguard to be supplied. What the sign say swim at your own risk. There are so many factors that could cause one to drown no matter how skilled one is....

whiteandblack
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whiteandblack 07/19/09 - 09:28 am
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you are so right augusta49.

you are so right augusta49.

Tots
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Tots 07/19/09 - 09:48 am
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Very good post

Very good post Augusta49@6:46am.P.S my love and prayers are sent to his family and friends.

1941
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1941 07/19/09 - 10:09 am
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We all know that

We all know that patricathomas, is a moron! She has no life, all she do all day is sit at her computer, and try to make others as miserable as she is!!!!

colt45
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colt45 07/19/09 - 10:15 am
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Maybe patriciathomas can find

Maybe patriciathomas can find that rock she crawled out from under and crawl back under it.

marien
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marien 07/19/09 - 10:15 am
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You all are right about this

You all are right about this patriciathomas if that is a real name, she is always making rude comments, if this is someone from the newspaper to keep things giong I pitty you.

colt45
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colt45 07/19/09 - 10:18 am
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Patricia must think she is

Patricia must think she is another friggin philladelphia lawer

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 07/19/09 - 11:13 am
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No need to assume anything

No need to assume anything about patriciathomas. It's just a screen name, it could be a man with a ponytail, or two people writing under the same screen name for all we know. No telling who any of these screen names really are, unless you're sitting there watching someone type it in.

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 07/19/09 - 12:09 pm
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Or is could be just a plain

Or is could be just a plain inconsiderate doofus, which he actually is by far!

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 07/19/09 - 12:10 pm
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Perhaps he is even named for

Perhaps he is even named for his soulmate, al la Governor Sanford.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 07/19/09 - 03:26 pm
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Patricia Thomas is my mentor

Patricia Thomas is my mentor and my good example. I hope she continues to post forever.

jahree2
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jahree2 07/19/09 - 09:05 pm
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Hello...? Im an adult that

Hello...? Im an adult that doesnt know how 2 swim. Every time I try to learn, I freak out when the water gets in my ears...I envy those that can swim! From what I heard not read...when he found himself in trouble his friends thought he was joking until it was too late. He was the one that made the football team and schoolmates laugh. A very sad tragedy. Does compassion ever come across to some of you before you post your comments???

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