Colleagues Remember Slain Valdosta Radio DJ

[UPDATE] - Valdosta, Ga. - Jan. 30, 2012 -

Friends and colleagues of slain radio DJ Juan Gotti, real name Stephon Edgerton, are planning to honor his life. The station says it will enclose the end of every hourly broadcast with a reference to the newly renamed Juan Gotti Studio.

Joseph Jones, Operation Manager at WGOV, says this can occur "forever" or at least as long as he and his current colleagues are at the station.

Other colleagues remembered their friend as always having a smile on his face. Radio personality Justina West said "you couldn't be around Juan Gotti and not be in a good mood."

Since Gotti's death WGOV has been playing pre-programmed music in his time slot.

There have not been any arrests in connection with the shooting and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff's department.
[UPDATE] - Valdosta, Ga. - Jan. 29, 2012 -

As of Sunday night there have still been no arrests made in the murder of the popular Lowndes County radio D.J. Stephon Edgerton, better known as Juan Gatti.
And the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department says they do not have any "official" suspects.
Edgerton's funeral was held Sunday afternoon at Morning Star Baptist Church in Jasper, Florida.
A private fund has been set up in his honor to benefit his wife and three children.
The "Edgerton's Children's Fund" is a collaboration between his personal friends and work friends at Rivers Radio.

Donations can be made through Sunrise Bank, located at 301 Woodrow Wilson Dr. in Valdosta, Ga.
Or out of town donations will be accepted through Wells Fargo Bank if sent to the attention of "Stephon Edgerton Memorial Fund".

The staff at Rivers Radio Group says they will gladly answer any questions regarding donations.
Their phone number is: (229) 242-4513.

Edgerton's co-workers at Rivers Radio say he was more than a friend - he was family.
"We miss you Juan Gatti, and know that you will always be with us watching down on your children. So to our friend, may you rest in peace," says D.J. Shailuv in a radio announcement.


[UPDATE] - Valdosta, Ga. - Jan. 27, 2012 -

The investigation into the murder of Stephon Edgerton by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is continuing. As of this date no arrest has been made.

On Friday, January 20, shortly before midnight, Stephon Edgerton, who was known as Juan Gatti during his radio show, called 9-1-1 for assistance. Edgerton relayed that he had been shot by an unknown person.

The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance and ask that anyone who may have information about this case to please call the department’s tip line at {229} 671-2985. Callers may remain anonymous.


[Update] - Valdosta, Ga. - Jan. 23, 2012 -

Lowndes County Sheriff's investigators are still searching for whoever is responsible for shooting and killing a popular radio DJ.
Stephon Edgerton hosted the night-shift at WGOV-radio.
But to his fans and co-workers he was "Juan Gatti".
Now the show must go on.
But his friends here at the station are finding that it's anything but business as usual.

"We're talking about Juan Gatti, aka Stephon Edgerton," D.J. Shailuv announces over the radio.

He pays tribute to his fallen friend in an afternoon shout out.
The phone's been ringing off the hook with impassioned calls but it's all too much for the broken-hearted staff to bear.

"It's really kind of hard to conduct business at this time. We're all doing the best that we can," D.J. Shailuv tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg.

"That's the worst part. This isn't a business, it's a family and one of our family members are missing," says D.J. Charlie Walker.

Edgerton was gunned down in the early hours Saturday morning after his Friday night-shift.
Authorities say a masked man was waiting for him in the parking lot and shot him three times.
He died at South Georgia Medical Center soon after.
Now the community is in mourning, and his friends just miss his laugh.

"If anybody at the station was having a bad day he was the guy that would actually cheer us up and make us laugh," says Shailuv.

"He would come in the studio and just always have a bright smile and having a great time. He always made me and the listeners laugh," says Walker.

We've been staying in close contact with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department, but so far there are no suspects and no official word on a motive.

Edgerton is survived by his wife and three children.
His friends at the radio station are developing plans for a fundraiser for their benefit.

A Memorial Fund has been established in memory of Stephon. The information is as follows: Wells Fargo Bank Attention: Stephon Edgerton Memorial Fund Routing Number-053000219 Account Number- 1916639667. Donations can be made throughout the year. (The number for Wells Fargo Bank is: 800-359-3557).


VALDOSTA, Ga.--Jan. 22, 2012

Many folks in the Valdosta community couldn't believe the news when they heard of the shooting death of WGOV DJ Stephon Edgerton.

Edgerton, who goes by the name "Juan Gatti" when DJ-ing for WGOV station V96, was gunned down in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Edgerton had been working at the station on highway 84 in Valdosta. He was leaving the building when a masked man waiting for him in the parking lot shot him.

"That kind of stuff, basically it doesn't happen out in this area, it's kind of quiet out here you know? So it's kind of shocking to hear that happen right down the road," said Keith Hunter, who was leaving a church located about two miles away from WGOV.

Stride Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office agreed when reached via telephone saying this was a rare and strange occurrence.

Edgerton had been able to call 911 and describe that the man was wearing a mask before passing away at South Georgia Medical Center.

"It's sad, and i pray for him and his family," said Hunter.


VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) -- January 21, 2012

Sheriff's investigators say a Valdosta disc jockey has been shot and killed outside the radio station where he worked.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says Stephon Edgerton, who used the name Juan Gatti while on the air for radio station WGOV, died after being shot three times outside the station's door just after midnight Saturday.

The Associated Press reports that Edgerton managed to call 911 and told emergency responders a man in a mask had shot him. He died after being rushed to a hospital.

Sheriff's investigators have not arrested any suspects.

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  • by Close Friend Location: Thomasville,Ga on Feb 8, 2012 at 06:56 AM
    Looking back through the yrs Stephon meant so much to me he was like a second father if I ever needed anything or was feeling bad about something he was always there to give me an encouraging word I love and miss him dearly as I looked at him laying so still in that casket a million questions went thru my head like why this happened and what did he do to deserve this why so soon n wat person would be so mean so full of hatred to do this he meant so much to a lot of us never would i have imagined him having to go so soon it is harder on the ppl that knew and loved him it's harder trying to find peace and understanding of why this had to happen to someone so special to us days,wks,even yrs from nw the ppl that were close to him will NEVER forget there still be memories,tears,and pain of this tragedy I pray that whoever had the guts to take the life of "Steph" will have the heart to man up and own up to what he has done please whoever u are have the heart to give the family,friends,churchmembers,and co~workers the peace that they are looking for they all deserve that much!!! #R.I.P Steph
  • by tarsha Location: waycross on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:47 PM
    Some of the comments that are being posted are so sad and crazy....take a minute and think about how you would feel if this was your loved one and you had to read all of this garbage...get a life.How would you feel wether you're white or black and this happened in your family?
  • by Figured it out on Jan 31, 2012 at 05:52 AM
    I have at least figured out the motive; music. I tuned in that station yesterday and listened. Within minutes I felt compelled to either change the station, or shoot myself. If that is indeed "music" this nation is so far down the toilet there is no way to save it.
    • reply
      by AmericanVoice on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:48 AM in reply to Figured it out
      What a ridiculous comment! This is America and there is such a thing called "freedom of expression" and "freedom of speech" ... if you don't like the music, tune into another station. There are plenty that love this music including most young Americans of all races so get over it dude. Who made you the moral voice of America anyway and who gives a hoot what you like and don't like! Get a life.
  • by DI Location: Madison on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
    I drive by a club on my way to shop in Valdosta and I saw the RIP for Juan Gotti. I will pray for his wife and children. So sad. No child deserves for his/her father to be murdered for any reason.
  • by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:25 AM
    • reply
      by Dee on Jan 30, 2012 at 09:56 AM in reply to AmericanVoice
      So what you're saying is that certain people won't talk to the police unless there's money involved? Hmmmm, there must be more to this than most of us can imagine. Sad.
      • reply
        by Idunno Dee on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:34 AM in reply to Dee
        I don't know Dee. Sounds to me like they are saying that they expect to be paid for doing the responsible / right thing. That is waaaay worse than sad. It is nothing short of pathetic. I'd just as soon see this crime go unsolved as to see that. The cost benefit ratio just isn't there.
        • reply
          by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 02:45 PM in reply to Idunno Dee
          Idunno both you and Dee need to stop smoking so much and quit interjecting your warped comments. A child understands thast the purpose of Reward money is to intice someone to talk who otherwise would not. A reward should have already been put up by both the police dept and the radio station! This man was an ex-Marine and was shot down like an animal. Perhaps a reward will cause some tongues to wag....
      • reply
        by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 02:37 PM in reply to Dee
        Dee, don't put word out there that are your own warped thinking. You know and I know that money will help solicit information from anyone that might know something about this crime. That is the purpose of reward money. So again, I ask, "When is the radio station and police dept going to offer a Reward for information leading them to the killer?" It should have already been offered by now! Juan served in the armed forces helping to protect his country yet his life seem to mean so little that law enforcement nor the radio station will offer a reward?!!! How shameful!
        • reply
          by Howbout You on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:55 PM in reply to AmericanVoice
          How about you? How much money have YOU donated to establishing this reward? If I had to bet, I'd bet not a penny. Not even one. Come back and post with this expectation when you can tell us *exactly* where to donate to supplement what you put up. Until then, well, you are doing nothing but convincing everyone that can read you are part of the problem not part of the solution. Think about it.
        • reply
          by Dee on Jan 31, 2012 at 05:26 AM in reply to AmericanVoice
          You're the one with warped thinking if it's OK with you that people who know something about a crime will not come forward unless there's money to be had. How ridiculous! FYI the police dept. does not donate money for a reward. There is crime stoppers but that is not funded by the PD.
        • reply
          by AmericanVoice on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:53 AM in reply to AmericanVoice
          @HowboutYou, ok, I will put up after you my friend! Put up or shut the up! Your comment is nothing but empty rhetoric. And again, both the radio station and the police department need to put up the reward money, and it should have already happened by now!
  • by gangsta rap on Jan 28, 2012 at 05:01 AM
    They need to be looking at Keith Hunter, what was he doing out in the early morning hours at the church for anyway.
  • by d Location: tallyho on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM
    Why in the world did the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office murder Mr. Edgerton?
  • by Steve Location: Cincy on Jan 26, 2012 at 06:36 PM
    Probably so when they get him and they have I read got the suspect they want to suppress stuff only the killer would know so they know they got the real killer common practice was a murder for hire but the killer got the wrong guy sad
  • by JEisenberg Location: Marietta on Jan 26, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    "Angry White Male" comes to mind after reading this. Drugs planted at scene also comes to mind. Whatever the case my be, no one deserves to be killed in this manner. Wasn't the dj also an ex-Marine? How sad. I sure hope they get the shooter.
  • by AmericanVoice Location: Atlanta on Jan 26, 2012 at 07:57 AM
    My condolences to the family of this young man. He did not deserve to be shot down like an animal. This was a hate crime perpetrated by a coward. It had nothing to do with drugs. Those drugs were left by the killer to suggest it was drug related. Even a blind person can see through this. This killing was planned and orchestrated a angr White Male, who is most likely associated with the Klan, or other hate group. I pray that this coward is caught very soon and that he receives the death penalty. God is so good! He allowed Juan to live long enough to give a description of this coward before he passed away. And another thing, why in the hell does the police not want to put the facts out that this could be a hate crime? And why are they trying to suppress the family from speaking to the news media? Things that make you go hmmm ... Are they trying to cover up the fact that this was a sick angry White Male who did this? SMDH at the police department! Call it what it is, A HATE CRIME AND NOT DRUG RELATED AT ALL!!!
    • reply
      by Chris on Jan 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM in reply to AmericanVoice
      If stupidity was illegal you'd be in jail right now. How do you gather this was an "angr (sic) White Male"? If the guy was white, why automatically assume he has association with the Klan or "other hate group"? It's this type of speculation that is dangerous.
      • reply
        by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:04 AM in reply to Chris
        @Chris, clarification on your comment "If the guy was white, why automatically assume he has association with the Klan or "other hate group"? ... THE KILLER WAS A WHITE MALE WEARING A WHITE MASK from the mouth of a dying man who was shot 3 times. So lets clear this up, not "IF" because he was indeed a white male. And what else can you call it except hate? By the mere fact that Juan was gunned down in cold-blood makes it an awful, hateful, dreadful and cowardly act. And yes, he was obviously an "angry "white" male. My question is why hasn't the police dept. crime victim unit, or the radio station where he worked, put up an reward to catch the killer? This should have already taken place!
        • reply
          by Chris on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM in reply to AmericanVoice
          I see. So, because the killer was white AND was wearing a white ski mask he was clearly trying to emulate a Klansman. Ergo, he must be racist. The catalyst for the murder couldn't have been anything other than his contempt and disgust for those "nasty colored folk." That's what you're definitively stating? Unbelievable. I'll gladly eat crow if they catch the ba5tard and it turns out that what was the reason. But for you to stay with such certainty that you know WHY this happened is dangerous and makes no better than the likes of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or any white racial fear mongerer.
    • reply
      by job on Jan 28, 2012 at 05:58 AM in reply to AmericanVoice
      You sound like you are taking race lessons from Rev. Rose.
      • reply
        by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:08 AM in reply to job
        Just stating facts, and putting things in perspective. Why hasn't reward money been offered by the police victim squad? There is money in the budget for these types of crimes? And why hasn't the radio station posted reward money? In my opinion had this been a white DJ gunned down by a "black" masked man, a reward would have been posted immediately.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 05:38 PM in reply to AmericanVoice
      "God is so good"...that he makes you, and the situation, automatically, racist. Really. Good luck with that.
      • reply
        by Demographic Understanding on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:32 AM in reply to anonymous
        You have to take into account the demographic of the speaker. Hate is all they have. Anything else would pretty much mandate some level of personal responsibility and I would expect to see flying pigs . . lots of flying pigs, before that happening.
        • reply
          by AmericanVoice on Jan 30, 2012 at 09:57 AM in reply to Demographic Understanding
          @Demographic Understanding, obviously you are not well informed. Hate, my friend, appears to be alive and well not just in Atl, but in a small hick town such as Valdosta where an innocent ex-Marine was gunned down by a cowardly white male wearing a mask! And again, my question is "WHEN WILL THE RADIO STATION AND/OR POLICE DEPT VICTIM SQUAD UNIT, DONATE MONEY TO FACILITATE CATCHING THIS CRIMINAL! That should be the focus of this discussion, not where a person is from.
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