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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger
The town of Washington, Georgia was rocked by a Memorial Day shoοting that resulted from a domestic altercation. But fears police are shoving it aside has motivated the family of the victim to seek answers that so far have not been provided.
Police investigators said Carlos Wynn was shοt twice by Jamarcus Callaway when Wynn tried to forcibly enter Callaway’s home, according to local news reports.
But when police ruled the shoοting self-defense by the next day, Wynn’s family members were shocked that so little investigation took place. They say they want answers that aren’t being provided.
“If you don’t speak out it just goes away,” Wynn’s cousin Roger Suggs said. “Because people get afraid to speak out. We aren’t trying to cause no problems for no one. We just want to see the proof. “
Initial reports said that Wynn was armed when he went to Callaway’s house to get his pregnant wife, Ashley Miller, who was inside Callaway’s home.
According to published reports, investigators say Callaway didn’t get a gun until he saw Wynn had one. They ruled quickly that he shοt in self-defense and wouldn’t be charged.
But Wynn’s sister, Taneka Brunson, said they’ve seen no official reports that her brother had a gun, and to her knowledge, a gun hasn’t been found.
“We don’t know if he had a gun or not,” she said. “We haven’t been told anything. Nothing.”
The people involved were all closely connected, like many in the small town, Suggs said.
To make matters more trying for all involved, Callaway’s step-father Silvester Walker died of an apparent heart attαck in the immediate hour or two after hearing about the shoοting.
Suggs said both men in the shoοting were related to Walker.
“The six degrees of separation here is that the guy that shot my cousin was raised by my uncle,” Suggs said. Brunson said she and Walker were cousins. Though Callaway and Wynn both knew each other, they were neither friends nor enemies she said.
Silvester Walker had been in poor health, Suggs said.
“We didn’t suspect him to die. “
Suggs and Brunson said the family simply wants all involved to be interviewed, including Wynn’s wife, who remains at the center of the altercation.
“This is a very small town,” Brunson said, “and people know things but they are not talking. There was a party or a barbecue going on at the time. People were there. And somebody took my brother to the house. His wife isn’t talking either. It’s a big, big mess.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations reported that witnesses confirmed Callaway’s story of self-defense. They did not charge Callaway, but he was detained with warrants unrelated to the shooting by Washington Police.
Wynn, who served time in prison for gun charges, also has a criminal record, which Suggs says may be playing into the lack of interest from the GBI.
“Are they just ignoring this because they think it doesn’t matter because two guys with troubles in the past?” Suggs says. “It matters to us.”
Washington Police say this is the first deαdly shoοting in 10 years. Neighbors like Minnie Evans say they can’t believe it.
“Now that’s what’s real shocking. Very shocking to have it. And I mean, for it to be this close,” she told reporters.
News reports said the Memorial weekend was a deαdly one in Georgia. The GBI complained to reporters about a backlog, which was confirmed by Coroner Blake Thompson.
“(The backlog) affects all of us here in Wilkes County, and I’m trying my best to give the family the information they need,” said Thompson. “It’s hard to tell the family. It will be two to three days before I can send the body to the crime lab.”
The neighborhood continues to recover from the shooting.
“I was surprised that someone got kιlled,” said neighbor Mildred Barnett.
Barnett lives across the street, and she says it’s not the first time she’s seen police there.
“Activities going over there a lot. I kind of stay inside, and mind my business, but you can see the activities and police cars always coming when (Callaway’s) around,” said Barnett.
Brunson said she hoped to go the police on Monday with her parents to try get a full report from the police. Her parents are “having a real terrible time dealing with this,” she said.
“Our only thing is nothing more than the proof so this family can get some closure,” Suggs said.
Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com and can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.