ALBANY — A man was shot and killed inside the Riverfront Resource Center building in downtown Albany around 1 p.m. Wednesday over what police say was an employee-employer payroll dispute.
Albany police have charged 27-year-old Jazzy Huff with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 38-year old Zenas Lee Davis. Investigators say Huff, the owner of Jazzy Movers, and Davis, an employee, got into a disagreement over Davis’ pay. Huff had to remove Davis from a job site and brought him back to 125 Pine Ave.
Shortly afterwards, the two exchanged words, then the shooting occurred. Davis was shot multiple times and was deceased at the scene.
Jazzy Movers is located on the second floor of the Resource Center.
APD spokeswoman Phyllis Banks, who arrived on the scene of the shooting shortly after officers had sealed off the 100 block of Pine Avenue with crime scene tape, said police received a call around 1:10 p.m. about a shooting on the second floor of the downtown office complex. She said a black male, who was led away in handcuffs, had shot and killed another black male near the LeVee Studios offices.
“This was not a random act,” Banks said. “(The shooting was the result) of an argument between two people who knew each other. (The violence) was confined to this area (on the 100 block of Pine), and there are no reports of anyone else being injured.”
Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler pronounced Davis dead at the scene at 1:38 p.m.
Dozens of law enforcement and first-responder personnel descended on the 100 block of Pine shortly after 1 p.m., and crime scene tape was quickly set up around the perimeter of the entire block. More than a dozen APD and emergency vehicles responded, and shortly after the suspect was placed in a police truck and taken away, Fowler arrived.
“We can’t say a lot right now, but there was a shooting, and the victim is deceased,” APD Assistant Chief Darrell Smith said shortly after the shooting. “A black male has been taken into custody. We’ll know more after we investigate.”
Blake Cook, owner of the LeVee studios, which is near where the shooting took place, said he was away from the premises and was contacted by employees who said there had been a shooting in the building. He was searching his cellphone for security video footage after talking with police.
Dougherty County Administrator Mike McCoy was on the scene, and he said that while the building is owned by the county, the second story is leased to another entity.
“All county employees are safe,” McCoy said.
The coroner’s office will transport the body to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation laboratory for an autopsy, Fowler said.
“We don’t know (yet) what happened, how it happened,” he said.
No one else was injured.
Albany firefighter and mayoral candidate Tracy Taylor arrived at the scene shortly before the victim’s body was removed from the Resource Center, and he called the fatal shooting a “tragedy” for the city.
The slaying was the ninth homicide in Albany in 2019.
“To think that something of this nature would occur in downtown is an eye-opener to the community and law enforcement,” said Taylor, who was on his way to Radium Springs Elementary School to pick up his son when he came upon the scene. “I was just down the street an hour ago doing an (television) interview. My take is that we have to be very aware.”
Taylor said his brother was shot five times in an assault in Waycross in May. He said he believes people should be able to defend themselves.
“I believe in the Second Amendment right, and I strongly encourage citizens to exercise their right by carrying a firearm.”
Jennifer Parks contributed to this report.