COVINGTON - Covington Police Department officials have announced that charges against Jamaal Pridgett in connection with the shooting of four men Tuesday night will be upgraded to include one count of malice murder.
"At noon (Thursday), a 20-year-old victim of the shooting was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta," Detective Daniel Seals said. "An autopsy is expected to be performed Friday at the GBI Crime Lab to determine the actual cause and manner of death."
Pridgett, 18, of 214 East Richardson St. in Oxford, was arrested late Tuesday night following the shooting that CPD detectives said occurred in conjunction with an armed robbery at a dice game at 3240 West St.
He was initially charged with four counts of aggravated assault and four counts of armed robbery, but Seals had said he was fearful that murder charges would be added due to the serious nature of the wounds suffered by the victims.
Three of the victims, whose ages range from late teens to 30, were flown by air ambulance to Atlanta trauma centers following the incident, which occurred around 8:15 p.m. The fourth victim was transported by ambulance to Newton Medical Center.
Seals said the men were shot multiple times with a handgun, and when EMS technicians left the scene with them, the trauma was so severe that it was impossible to tell how many shots each victim had received.
Officers were told a dice game was in progress at the residence when Pridgett stood up, produced a pistol and commanded everyone to lie down on the floor.
"Pridgett robbed the victims, shot them and ran off," Seals said.
Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses and are appealing to the community to help them make sure justice is achieved for the four victims.
"If there's anyone we haven't spoken to, or anyone who knows any further information, no matter how small, we want to speak with them," he said. "Just a small fact can make a difference when we're putting together the whole picture."
Seals can be reached at 770-385-2144 or 770-786-7605.
Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting its Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "contact us" and then "secret witness."
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.