GREENVILLE — The Meriwether County Sheriffs Office announced late Tuesday night that one arrest has been made in the mass shooting that occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 27 at a former nightclub near Greenville.
Sheriff Chuck Smith said through the course of the investigation along with physical evidence, Meriwether County sheriffs investigators identified Tommie Thornton, 22, of Sanford Avenue in LaGrange, as a suspect. He was taken into custody by LaGrange police officers.
Ten people were shot inside the Hill Haven Event Center, formerly known as Club CJ’s, at 1140 Hill Haven Road just before 3 a.m. Sept. 27. All the victims were treated for various wounds, the sheriffs office said at the time, but none were life-threatening and no one was killed in the shooting.
According to a report, police located Thornton at a home on Habersham Drive in LaGrange on Oct. 12 around 1 p.m. Smith said the suspect was taken to the Meriwether County Jail and charged with nine counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was being held without bond.
Smith said help from surrounding agencies and a traffic stop played an intricate part in Thornton’s arrest.
“LaGrange Police Department patrol officers were able to make a traffic stop on the date that the incident occurred,” he explained. “This stop was based on relayed suspect vehicle information provided by the Meriwether County 911 dispatch. This was very beneficial in helping us develop additional leads based on this traffic stop.
“The one arrest that we have made at this time was one of the occupants in this vehicle. Our investigators were able to track additional leads developed with the assistance of the LaGrange Police Departments Special Investigation Unit into the identity of many of the witnesses and suspect(s) involved in this matter. The majority of the victims and potential suspect(s) being from the LaGrange, Georgia, area.
“Without their assistance it would have made our investigation much more difficult. A lot of these individuals related to this incident were known to their units through work-related knowledge.”
Smith said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Scene Unit and the Troup County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies also played key roles on the night of the shooting.
Smith stated the investigation is still active, with more charges pending and additional arrests possible.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.