BPS opens investigation on shooting around Rivers Apartments

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

At approximately 2:13 a.m. on Sunday morning, Bainbridge Public Safety officers were dispatched to a victim claiming he had been shot in the woods, but was unsure of his exact location.

BPS officers Tarow Barney and John Walker arrived at Rivers Apartments and made contact with a large group of males who were hanging out on the sidewalk. The group told the officers they heard three shots coming from a distance north of the apartments.

The officers then changed locations to 150 yards outside the city limits on Pond Town Road, where the victim, James Keaton, was located. Keaton told the officers he had been shot and had bullet wounds in his right hand and right shoulder.

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According to reports, Keaton told Barney that Maurice Bell came to his apartment and told him (Keaton) to walk with him (Bell) to pick up his girlfriend’s car. The two walked all the way to some developing apartments behind Rivers Apartments when Bell began opening fire on Keaton. Keaton stated he was trying to run away from Bell and that’s how he ended up north on Pond Town Road. Keaton described Bell as wearing a black shirt with dark colored shorts and Nike flip flops with black socks.

Keaton told Barney that the police needed to find Bell and lock him up, or he was going to kill him.

EMS arrived on scene and assessed Keaton. He was then turned over and transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for treatment. Because he had to be transported, Barney was unable to get any additional information on Keaton’s condition.

Officers began searching the area for evidence, but have been unable to locate any. They also have been unable to determine the location Keaton described to them and are having a difficult time understanding where Keaton was coming from, according to the incident report. Although Keaton was three quarters of a mile north of the Lake Drive entrance, he walking south back towards town.

The case is still active and has been turned over to Investigator Chris Avery.