Suspect pointed gun at officers after argument with bouncer at Savannah bar

By Sean Evans

Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 5:43 AM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - One man was shot and is in critical condition following an officer-involved shooting early Saturday morning in Savannah.

Police say it happened just before 3 a.m. in the 400 block of W. Congress Street. No officers were injured in the incident. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has taken over the investigation of the incident.

Officials say two Savannah Police Department officers were working off-duty providing security at the Congress Street Social Club. The officers were told a man was outside of Boomys Restaurant & Bar, located next door, holding a handgun. The man was identified as 35-year-old Robert Gadson, of Savannah.

Officials say Gadson had gotten into an argument with a Boomys bouncer, and pulled out a handgun. Gadson then pointed his gun toward officers. An exchange in gunfire resulted in Gadson being shot. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.

WTOC got to see surveillance video that caught the whole exchange between Gadson and two Savannah Police officers, and those officers were lucky to walk away unharmed.

The owner of Boomys, who said while he couldn’t send the surveillance video of the incident because of the ongoing investigation, allowed WTOC to watch it. In the video, you could see the violent exchange of gunfire between police and Gadson, which started as Gadson raised a gun toward police.

Surprisingly, the officers and bystanders seen in that video weren’t hit. But we know from the GBI’s findings Gadson was hit by police gunfire.

“It was horrible to see stuff like this. I’m just glad that the police, none of my staff, customers, any innocent bystanders…no one else was hurt other than the victim,” Boomys owner Keith Berger said.

Based on what he saw in the surveillance video, Berger says he believes it was Gadson’s intent to shoot the officers.

“I am grateful there were cops nearby. And I am very grateful that they were not hurt, because the amount of danger…you see that from instances like this…the amount of danger they’re put into is unfathomable,” Berger said.

The GBI said Gadson remains in the hospital with critical injuries.

This is the 33rd officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated in 2022. This is now the second officer-involved shooting to happen in Chatham County this year. The first one happened in February on White Bluff Road.

As of now, the district attorney’s office has not made any determinations on last year’s three officer-involved shooting cases involving Savannah Police officers.

The first one happened last July on E. Bolton Street. The second one on December 21 on Vassar Street. And the third less than a week later, on MLK Jr. Blvd.

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