Four dead in double shootings
Manhunt continued into weekend for Daylon Delon Gamble, lone suspect in multiple shooting incident in Rockmart on Jan. 24
Gunshots rang out in the dark of night and disturbed the peace of a cold January night at two homes in the Williamson Street area of Rockmart.
When police arrived at two scenes just a few blocks apart last Thursday night, January 24 just after 8 p.m., they found five people who were shot in what is believed to be a targeted killing of two men and two women.
Four victims were pronounced dead on the scene after the coroner’s office arrived, and the fifth was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center by airlift not long after the incident for emergency surgery.
As of press time over the weekend, 24-year-old Peerless Brown remained in the intensive care unit, but his condition was upgraded on Saturday from extremely critical to that of serious but stable, with severe injuries to his head. Local officials following his progress report that he is in a medically-induced coma. Officials reported he had made marked improvement since emergency surgery was conducted Thursday following the shooting.
Polk County Coroner Tony Brazier said after family members were fully notified of what happened that Helen Rose Mitchell, 48, and Jaequnn Davis, 19, both of a Williamson Street address were found in front of their home at one scene.
Brown was also found at the Williamson Street home by paramedics, who rushed to get him treatment last Thursday night.
Just a few hundred yards away on (Short) Rome Street, Arkeyla Perry, 24, and Dadrian Cummings, 26, were found shot as well. At least three calls came into 911 within minutes reporting the incidents.
The five victims were all believed to have been targeted due to the nature of their wounds, according to police officials.
Police were still searching at press time for 27-year-old Daylon Delon Gamble, considered armed and dangerous, after he fled the scene and stole a black Ford truck from the Williamson Street address. The truck was later recovered in Bartow County, according to the GBI.
Gamble is being sought by local, state and federal authorities were still on the hunt for him as of Friday evening.
Already the case has drawn in extensive local and area resources during the initial response and follow-up manhunt. Those have included 3 GBI regional offices, the Rockmart Police, Polk County Police, Cedartown Police, Haralson-Paulding Drug Task Force, the Cartersville Police, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office fugitive task force members and federal officers from the FBI and U.S. Marshal’s Field Office.
Brazier said the four found outside their homes were all undergoing forensic exams by the GBI’s Crime Lab, and were officially pronounced dead on the scene at 8 p.m. Thursday night, Jan. 24.
The shootings marked the first murders of 2019 in Polk County, and outpaced the past two years of violent deaths in one night. There was only one murder in all of 2018 in Cedartown, and three in 2017.
Brazier said in his experience in Polk County in recent years, the murders were the most that have ever taken place at one time. The double shootings took place just a short drive from historic downtown Rockmart. Less than a mile separates both addresses with South Marble Street.
Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells said in his long career in law enforcement in the Rockmart community, he had not experienced anything like last Thursday’s shooting before.
“It is difficult for this not to touch everybody in this community one way or the other. Whether you were relatives of those families, or friends of someone that knew them, it’s just a tragedy,” Sorrells said. “In my mind we’re a close knit community. My heart goes out to the families of the victims and those that are connected to them, which I think encompass everybody.”
“I think we all want what’s best for Rockmart, and this is not it. It’s not a true reflection of this community,” he said.
Sorrells said based on calls received by Polk County 911 reporting the calls first at the Williamson Street address at 7:59 p.m., and then another shooting moments later not far from where the house sits at 422 Gordon Street. The second call was then proceeded moments later by the report of shots being fired at 503 Rome Street.
He added that thus far, police have not yet determined a motive as to why Gamble would commit the crime, or anything about the victims that would explain why this happened.
Authorities all urged Gamble to turn himself in as the manhunt continued over the weekend into press time.
Two of four bodies were found outside of a house in an alleyway between West Church Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Rockmart on Thursday evening, January 24, 2019
Top: Two of four bodies were found outside of a house in an alleyway between West Church Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Rockmart on Thursday, January 24, 2019 around 8 p.m. in a multiple shooting incident in the area. Above: Police were just as concerned with crowd control as they were assessing the scenes of the multiple shooting.