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Search continues for shooting suspect

MOULTRIE -- Officials with the Moultrie Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said Monday they are still searching for leads in the shooting death of 29-year-old Moultrie resident Willie Bender Jr.

According to Commander Alfonzo Cook of the Moultrie Police Department, Bender was shot multiple times in front of his residence on the 500 block of Southwest Fourth Street Sunday morning.

"The 911 phone call came from the victim's girlfriend, who told police that her babies' father had been shot," said the Commander.

Police said when they arrived at the residence Bender was found lying in his front yard, deceased, with gunshot wounds to his body.

Cook said the GBI and investigators are still trying to piece together the motive behind Bender's shooting.

"The details are still pretty sketchy, and we are currently checking on multiple leads. We are ruling out that the homicide was a drive-by shooting," he said.

Phyllis Banks, a spokesperson for the Albany Police Department, said Monday that law enforcement officials from Colquitt County had contacted Albany Police about a possible person of interest in the case who might have been in Albany.

Albany Police were able to locate the person of interest at the local bus station at 3:04 p.m. Sunday, where he was taken into custody for questioning.

"He (the suspect) was mainly a lead in this case," said Cook.

Police said the person of interest, whose name has not been released, was questioned about Bender's death and released without charges.

"He was arrested, however, on a warrant for robbery that was unrelated to this case," said Cook.

The Moultrie Police Department has requested that anyone with any knowledge regarding this investigation contact the department at (229) 616-7470.