GBI, sheriff investigate weekend shooting death

Published 12:49 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — Investigators with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Region 3 Office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), continue their probe into the shooting death of an Americus man early Sunday morning.

Sumter County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, Col. Eric Bryant, told the Americus Times-Recorder that authorities were called around 4:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, to the Astro Club at 153 Sunset Drive, just outside Americus. He said Americus Police also responded, as did EMS.

“The caller said a person had been shot and was down,” Bryant said.

Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was dead, outside the club, Bryant said. He was identified as Kent Wimberly Jr., 29, of 507 W. Church St., Americus. Sumter County Deputy Coroner, J.B. Hicks, confirmed that Wimberly was dead at the scene. He said the body was sent to the State Crime Lab for autopsy, but it appeared he had died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Bryant said that witnesses at the scene were interviewed. When the girlfriend of the shooting victim, who was also on scene, was told her boyfriend was dead, Bryant said she became involved in an altercation with one of the sheriff’s deputies. Alexeus Brianna Mercer, 23, of 507 W. Church St., Americus is charged with obstruction of law enforcement officers and criminal trespass, and was jailed. She was released on bond Monday.

Bryant said authorities worked Sunday and Monday, and into Tuesday talking with witnesses in an attempt to piece together exactly what had occurred. He said they had gotten “a lot of cooperation” from the people they had interviewed, “but there are still a lot who need to come forth and share what they know of the course of events so we can be sure we get the person responsible for discharging a firearm.”