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Victim, suspect identified in deadly shooting at Savannah athletic complex

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 12:14 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department is investigating a shooting that killed one person at the Jennifer Ross Soccer Complex on Tuesday night.

According to the police department, the shooting happened in the parking lot of the athletic complex around 8:15 p.m.

Rajah Young, 27, was injured in the shooting and was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Police confirmed a person of interest was immediately detained at the scene. Police say that person, 26-year-old Mario Wallace, has been booked into the Chatham County Jail on a murder charge.

The victim and the suspect knew each other, according to police.

Mario Wallace
Mario Wallace(Chatham County Jail)

Witnesses told WTOC that children were playing soccer and football at the complex at the time of the shooting and said the children had to be evacuated from the area. No children were injured during the incident.

We talked to a parent and his son who was playing at the complex at the time of the shooting.

“My wife had called to inform me that there had been a shooting at the parking lot and the players had been evacuated, rushed off the field, through the woods, to the other side of the complex,” said Matt, a parent to a soccer player.

“I heard some faint shouting and the next thing I know, five shots were fired. I heard it in the parking lot and as soon as you heard that, coaches evacuated us through the woods to the other side of the complex,” said Matt’s son, Joseph, who was playing soccer.

Lee Rose says his team, an eight and under football team, was playing a game when the shooting happened.

He says five gunshots rang out during the second quarter. Seconds later, Rose described people running and panicking.

“Everybody is looking for their kids, get the players off, let’s get to safety, make sure everybody’s safe around us,” Rose said. “We were back toward the fence line, the wood line, and everybody just ran towards the concession stand or bathrooms.”

Rose said he left his car at the complex Tuesday night and walked home. He returned Wednesdday morning to get his car.

Savannah Police held a news conference at 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter, and Savannah City Manager Jay Melder were all on scene. Alderman Nick Palumbo was at the hospital with the victim’s family.

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