Police: Man charged after firing at bystanders

Jan. 30—VALDOSTA — A Valdosta man was arrested Saturday after reportedly firing at people standing on a roadside.

At 8:03 p.m., a 911 caller said an unknown man in an older red vehicle was firing a gun from his vehicle, according to a Valdosta Police Department statement released Monday.

Police saw the suspected vehicle at the intersection of Vallotton Drive and North Troup Street, stopped at a stop sign.

As detectives began to drive toward the vehicle, they saw the car's driver firing a gun at people standing beside the roadway, police said.

No one appeared to be injured and everyone began running from the area. Police tried to stop the suspect vehicle but the driver kept going until he finally lost control and wrecked, police said. The driver was taken into custody; officers searched the area but did not locate anyone who had been injured.

A handgun and spent shell casings were found inside the car.

The driver — identified as a 43-year-old Valdosta man — is charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, misdemeanor reckless conduct, misdemeanor obstruction of a firearm near a public highway, discharge of a firearm on the property of another, misdemeanor reckless driving and other traffic offenses, police said.

"I am proud of the proactive work by our detectives, who responded to the area quickly to look for this offender. When they saw him fire a gun, then he refused to stop for them while continuing to be a threat, they took the necessary steps to ensure that he was stopped immediately," Police Chief Leslie Manahan said in a statement.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.