From left are Kelvin Drake, Keith Roberson and Manasseh Skinner.
ALBANY, Ga. — Danny Wilkerson Jr. has been arrested for the murder of Dontavious Luke, a Rattlers gang leader, confirmed Albany Police Chief John Proctor.
Officers from the Robbery/Homicide Unit and the Gang Unit arrested Wilkerson in Thomasville Tuesday with the assistance of Thomasville authorities, he added. No further comment or information was immediately available on Wilkerson.
Three men were also arrested earlier in Albany on a variety of charges involving the murder, stated Albany Police Department reports.
The early-Sunday morning shooting death of 24-year-old Luke at the Shackelford Shopping Center parking lot could be the start of an escalating gang war, said Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards.
“He (Luke) is a recognized leader in the (Rattlers) gang and goes by the street name ‘Tater Man,’” Edwards said. “We have to stop this before the beefs between rival gangs upgrade the weapons to assault rifles to outgun the other crew. Gang members from outside Albany may be brought in to help, because they won’t be known here.”
Because the investigation is continuing, Edwards said that the he could not name which of the arrested or which of the suspects were Bloods or Rattlers. Arrested were Kelvin Drake, 24, Manasseh Skinner, 27, and Keith Roberson 30.
All were charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and criminal street gang participation.
Skinner was also charged with false report of a crime. He apparently made up a cover story involving why and where he was shot when found after 4:25 a.m. Sunday, reports added.
At first the shootings came in to dispatch as three separate crimes, but all the people involved had been at the Sand Trap Bar and the Shackelford parking lot when the shooting broke out, Edwards added.
Putting the facts together by questioning participants and people at the scene investigators linked the shootings together as a gang war and led them to believe Skinner’s story is fake.
At about 3:36 a.m. in the parking lot of the Sand Trap bar, 911 E. Oglethorpe Blvd., 23-year-old Rashad Jackson was shot in his calf. Jackson is not one of the charged, according to police reports.
Apparently the fight moved west to the Shackelford parking lot where someone fatally shot Luke. Five others including Skinner, Drake and Luke’s brother, 28-year-old Montravious Luke, suffered gunshot wounds.
A 21-year-old woman, Whitney Williams, who Edwards called an “innocent bystander,” was shot in her upper left thigh during the melee.
Edwards said innocent people can be hurt in gang wars. There was much damage done by the gang members using a variety of handguns Sunday, he said.
“As early as Sunday night retaliation plans were being made by gangs,” Edwards said. “Law enforcement is on high alert but we need the community’s help. There were dozens of witnesses Sunday. People know the gang members. They need to let us know.”
Anyone with additional information should call investigations at (229) 431-3288 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477). The Spanish speaking APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.
Crime Stoppers is an anonymous tipline. People with information could become eligible for cash rewards.