Police arrest four in running gun battle

ALBANY — Four men are in the Dougherty County Jail following their arrests in connection with a running gun battle in East Albany.

Officials say an officer of the Albany Police Department was turning onto Sands Drive about 1:25 p.m. Wednesday when he observed an exchange of gunfire between the occupants of a white Volvo 940 and a white Chevrolet Impala. The officer followed the cars as additional APD units were called to the area.

The Volvo and its occupants — later identified as Javaar Williams, 25, and Steve Richardson, 23 — turned into Wild Pines Apartments, 600 Sands Drive. According to officials, the suspects then convinced Demetric Hollis, 22, to allow them use of his apartment to hide from police. Reportedly, Hollis’ wife returned a short time later and made the men leave the apartment.

The police report states that Williams and Richardson then flagged the driver of a red Hyundai Elantra and continued on to East Oglethorpe Boulevard, where they were stopped by an APD traffic unit and arrested.

About the time that Williams and Richardson were stopped, the white Impala was spotted at a nearby Petro Gas station, police officials say. The driver, Ronntario Thompson, 20, was taken into custody after attempting to run from police, authorities said.

According to APD spokeswoman Phyllis Banks, a box containing a handgun and a quantity of marijuana was discovered at the Wild Pines Apartments location. Cocaine was found inside the Elantra during the traffic stop, police said.

Banks said Williams and Richardson have each been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

Thompson has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and obstruction of law enforcement, Banks said. Officials say Hollis was charged with hindering the apprehension of a criminal and making false statements in writing.

Banks said no charges have so far been made against the unidentified driver of the Elantra, pending further investigation of possible involvement with the case.

The four suspects in the case were transported to the Dougherty County Jail, Banks said, with additional charges pending.