A man who has been accused of going on a shooting spree across both Alabama and Georgia which left five individuals injured, has confessed to police that he was purposefully targeting white men as his potential victims, meaning this is a crime that was racially motivated.
“Basically, he explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Detective Brandon Lockhart said when speaking of suspect Justin Tyran Roberts during a preliminary hearing.
Roberts, who is a 39-year-old black male, was arrested and taken into custody in connection with the shootings which left five folks injured in three different situations. Law enforcement professionals have stated that the victims are expected to recover from their injuries.
Lockhart testified that Roberts told police he was previously attacked in a wooded area by white men using a slingshot, leaving him with wounds that became infected under the skin. However, police say they found no injuries on Roberts’s body.
A lawyer for Roberts has requested a mental health evaluation for her client, arguing Roberts was “suffering from delusions” and a “disconnect from reality.”
“The officer’s testimony has demonstrated that Mr. Roberts is having delusions and a disconnect from reality,” the lawyer argued.
Lockhart testified that the suspect was focused on white males as his potential victims, stating in court that he said he “had to have him,” referring to one of the individuals he shot.
Judge Julius Hunter has ruled that there is probably cause to now send the case forward to the Muscogee Superior Court.