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Grand jury indicts four suspects in gun robbery
Four people have been indicted for their alleged role in an armed robbery and shooting this past December in Glynn County.

Ladarius Lawrence and Lorenzo Lawrence, who are brothers, Randall Alan Whipple and Patrick Lamont Demery were indicted by a Glynn County Grand Jury on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and aggravated battery.

The grand jury indicted the four Thursday.

The men are accused of shooting 23-year-old Tyler Scott Harris on Dec. 4 during what Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering described then as a botched gun sale.

The men are also accused of taking the magazine to a .40-caliber handgun from Harris.

Harris was shot in the upper chest and across the bridge of his nose with a handgun of unknown caliber after he allegedly attempted to sell the men a .223 caliber AR-15 assault rifle.

Harris was in critical condition for a time at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah but was later released.

The shooting was one of a string of gun offenses that began just before Thanksgiving, prompting city and county police departments to join forces with the Glynn County Sheriff's Office to start a violent crimes task force. School resource officers also are involved in the special unit.

Since its creation, the task force has seized 15 weapons from known criminals and arrested at least five people who were allegedly involved with ongoing criminal activity.

Despite the rash of gun-related offenses during the last two months of 2012, Doering said instances of violent crime actually fell by more than 10 percent last year from 2011.

There were 259 violent crimes -- homicide, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault -- in 2011 compared to 232 in 2012.

Doering said the drop in violent crimes was accompanied by a 13 percent drop in the seven most serious crimes -- homicide, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and automotive theft from 2011 ro 2012. There were 2,932 reported crimes in this category in 2012 compared to 3,379 in 2011.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. You can contact him at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

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