THUNDERBOLT, GA (September 17, 2011): Thunderbolt Police have charged a 20-year-old man with murder after the shooting death of another man outside an apartment complex Friday night.


Vernon Michael Rich Jr. was taken into custody at the scene on Laurel Oak Drive immediately following the 10:47 p.m. shooting of Troy Wells, 35. A pistol believed used in the shooting was recovered and Rich admitted the shooting.


Wells was transported to Memorial University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.


TPD’s investigation revealed that Rich had driven a co-worker from Lab Corp on Chatham Parkway in Savannah to her residence at Bonaventure Place Condominiums after they got off work at 9 p.m. They had stopped at a store and driven to the complex when they were approached by Wells, who recently ended a relationship with the co-worker and was to have vacated the apartment they shared on Friday.


Rich was turning his car around in the parking lot after dropping the woman off when Wells approached her from behind, initiated a heated discussion, demanded to know who Rich was and then tried to hit her. The woman backed away and sprayed Wells with Mace. He walked away towards Rich’s car, initiated another conversation with him and began to strike him while he was still in the vehicle. The woman reported she then she heard a gunshot.


Just after the shooting Rich called police and emergency medical services. He surrendered to arriving Thunderbolt police.


Southside Emergency Medical Services, Thunderbolt Fire and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police patrol, violent crimes investigators and forensics technicians supplied support for the investigation.



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