SAVANNAH, GA (November 2, 2021) – The Savannah Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit has charged a suspect in the death of Kareem Smalls nearly one year after his fatal shooting on Draper Street.
Officers responded to Gwinnett Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard around 11 p.m. Nov. 23, 2020 for a vehicle crash with injuries and discovered Smalls in the vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds. Detectives determined that the shooting occurred in the 600 block of Draper Street. Smalls, also known as “Free Lunch Baby,” was transported to the hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.
Homicide Unit detectives initially worked on the case. In May, the case was handed over to the Major Crimes Unit, which continued on the work done by the Homicide Unit. MCU detectives were able to identify and locate individuals with information and additional evidence. This, combined with the initial investigation, led to Samuel’s arrest.
On Nov. 1, Dyanta Samuels, 24, was charged with murder. Samuels was already in custody at the Chatham County Detention Center on charges in connection to a drug investigation from August.
“SPD’s Homicide Unit built a solid case that was taken over by our Major Crimes Unit earlier this year,” Chief Roy Minter said. “As a result of their hard work and dedication to this case and their commitment to the Smalls’ family, this case resulted in an arrest. A number of things contributed to a successful outcome in this investigation, including multiple people coming forward with information. We encourage the public to reach out to us with any information in any possible crime in this city. A tiny piece of information has the potential to bring closure to victims, or in this case, a grieving family.”