19-year-olds charged with murder
Rome investigators travel to Columbus to track down suspects in the murder of Berry student Joseph McDaniel.
Floyd County police arrested two teenagers Saturday night in Columbus in connection with the Saturday morning shooting death of a Berry College student. Maj. Jeff Jones with the Floyd County police identified the first suspect as 19-year-old Ricket Carter of Columbus. Jones said that Carter was acquainted with the victim, Joseph P. McDaniel, 20, also of Columbus.
A second arrest was made approximately an hour after Carter. Jones identified the suspect as Troy Cokley, 19, of Riverdale. Both Carter and Cokley will be charged with felony armed robbery and felony murder.
McDaniel was shot in the chest at the Summerstone Apartments off Old Summerville Road around 2:26 Saturday morning. Jones said a handgun was used in the armed robbery and shooting. Jones and other Floyd County investigators were following other leads late Saturday night.
Coroner Gene Proctor said someone heard a shot and then heard someone crying which prompted the call to 911. A lookout was posted a short time later for a black automobile that left the gated community in a hurry.
“A lot of knocking and talking led us to Columbus,” Jones said Saturday night. “We are continuing to do searches.”
The investigator said Columbus police were also assisting with the investigation.
In an email to Berry College students, faculty and staff, Dean of Students Debbie Heida said that McDaniel was a third-year student majoring in business management.
“As a college community already mourning the loss of one of its students, this additional tragedy cuts deep. We grieve with Joseph’s family and friends,” Heida said in her letter to students and staff.
Earlier this month, Berry College lost crosscountry runner David Shankles. The sophomore from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area died unexpectedly.
“Our community has been remarkable in showing support and care for each other in tragic circumstances and it is heartbreaking to need to do so again,” Heida wrote. “Please be as supportive of each other as possible as we all seek to make sense of this tragedy.”
The Summerstone Apartments gate is open for police to access the scene of a homicide early Saturday morning.