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VSU student slain in shooting, suspects arrested

Photo Illustration by Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Tatyana Phelps, Managing Editor

A VSU student and three other suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection with a shooting that resulted in the death of another VSU student on Monday.

According to the Valdosta Daily Times, sophomore Lenton Swint was found with a bullet wound to the head on the front doorway of a duplex residence on Cherokee Street. Swint was transported to South Georgia Medical Center in critical condition and was pronounced dead shortly after.

According to reports, police have determined that the incident was drug related.

In a VDT article, a friend of the victim said that he and Swint were walking toward the duplex when they noticed two African-American males standing in the front yard. The two asked to speak to a resident of the home. Swint’s friend later heard a knock at the door, followed by a gunshot. That is when he discovered that Swint had been shot.

Brian Sutton, Johnny Slocumb Jr., and Kelvin Latchie were arrested by Valdosta police Wednesday afternoon. Daryn Wooten was arrested by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.

Latchie was charged with felony murder. The other three suspects were charged with being party to the crime of felony murder, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

Monday afternoon, shortly after the sound of gunshots, several police cars arrived in the 1000 block of Cherokee Street, right off of Baytree Road around 6:30 p.m.

Several people at the shopping center adjacent to the street that the incident took place on gathered around and watched as police searched for clues.

“I was at work, taking the trash out when I noticed all the officers,” said Aaron Knight, manager at Fabulous Pizza. “I asked what happened, and the officer told me someone had been shot.”

Knight added that he hadn’t heard any gunshots prior to the arrival of the police.

Tuesday afternoon, Interim President Staton sent out an email to VSU faculty and staff expressing his condolences.

This has been the second death of a VSU student in the past two weeks.

“This is what our countries war on drugs has resulted in. It has created a black market where, sadly, things like this happen on a daily basis. But it’s shocking and saddening to hear about another student dying at such a young age,” said Forrest Walker, middle grades education major.

Counseling is available at VSU for students who need emotional support during this time.


Tyler Gerken contributed to this report

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