Suspect In Valdosta Applebee's Shooting Had Ties To Victims

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Updated By: Winnie Wright
September 8, 2014

Valdosta, GA - 33 year-old Anthony Antwain Ceasar of Valdosta is facing Felony Murder charges in the August 22nd shooting death of 39 year-old Kenneth Johnson, and the aggravated assault of Johnson's girlfriend,41 year-old Lashanda Williams outside of an Applebees in Valdosta.

Many are wondering what was the motive, What did Ceasar have against Johnson? As it turns out, the pair were accomplises in an undercover drug ring operated out of this house on Bunche Circle in Valdosta, and another in Lake Park.

Investigators busted the operation last February and recovered $24,000 worth of cocaine at the scene. Both men were charged with trafficking and possession of cocaine. According to the District Attorney's Office, they were both out on bond.

According to court documents, Ceasar, Johnson, and Williams were due in court on August 6th on a Forfeiture case in relation to the drug trafficking charges. Just two weeks before the shooting. So what happened between February, when they were arrested, and August, and why would Ceasar go after his accomplice?

"The motive is important to the case at this point. It's part of the investigation And it will be part of the prosecution, so I can't speak to that", says Valdosta Police Chief, Brian Childress.

This is not Ceasar's first run in with the law. He served 155 months in federal prison for the armed robbery of Commercial Banking Company in Remerton and First State Bank in Valdosta in 2000 and 2001.

Valdosta Police say they got their arrest warrants against Ceasar Friday afternoon, and thought he may be in Lake Park, but during a search didn't find him there. Ceasar was apprehended in Atlanta by U.S. Marshals.

Update: VPD
September 8, 2014

An arrest has been made in the August 22nd shooting of Kenneth Johnson and Lashanda Williams.

33-year-old Valdosta resident, Anthony Antwain Ceaser has been arrested for felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm.

VPD Detective Bureau obtained the arrest warrant Friday, September 5, 2014 and arrested Ceaser this morning.

The GBI has been assisting with the investigation as well. Details of the arrest are not available at this time.

Anyone having any further information regarding this crime or any other crime is urged to contact the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145.

By: Winnie Wright
August 22, 2014

According to the Valdosta Police Department, the deadly shooting happened at the Applebees on Inner Perimeter Road in Valdosta around midnight Thursday.

Police say 38 year-old Kenneth Johnson suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the restaurant.

Brian Childress, Valdosta Police Chief said, "When officers and detectives arrived there, we found two victims, one a male, one a female, unfortunately, the male victim succumbed to his injuries, from the gunshot wounds, and was pronounced dead on the scene."

Another victim, a woman, who has not been identified, also suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but survived.

Police say they will not be releasing the name, condition, or location where the female victim is being treated, in case the pair was targeted.

But who shot these people, and why?

"We have developed a couple of theories about why it happened. Is this a random act? We're not sure. We are leaning in the direction of; it may not have been, but we don't know that yet. So, we are looking at that right now," said Chief Childress.

Childress also says witnesses were questioned at the scene. Both the VPD and the Sheriff's Office searched the surrounding area after the shooting with the help of a canine unit but Valdosta Police say they have no suspects at this time.

With the shooting that took place outside of another night club as it closed in Valdosta last week many have asked if security is the problem.

Childress says Applebee's hasn't had reports in the past, and this shooting actually took place during business hours.

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