Accused Killers Appear in Court

5:13 PM, Mar 13, 2008   |    comments
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View an excerpt from the Macon Police Department's Incident Report, Click Here Two men accused of murder in Saturday's shooting at Coliseum Northside Hospital are being held without bail. Robert Lee Berrian and Kenyatta Jones made their first appearance Monday to face murder charges. March 24 commitment hearings were set for the two men. A witness told police that Saturday's fatal shooting began after one man asked another why he was staring at him. According to a Macon police report, the witness says 25-year-old Gregory James just walked away when another man accused him of staring. Then two others, Robert Lee Berrian and Kenyatta Jones, followed him into the hospital parking lot, asking James if he knew them, according to the police report. The witness told police that James then turned around, showed a weapon and fired first, according to the report. He shot Jones in the stomach, then hit Berrian in the shoulder, according to the report. Police say Berrian then shot back, shooting James in the head, chest and stomach. Coroner Leon Jones said Gregory James, 25 years old, of Macon, died about an hour after the shooting. He says an autopsy conducted on Monday showed that James died of multiple gunshot wounds. Sgt. Melanie Hofmann said Berrian, 25, was released from the hospital and taken into custody on murder charges. Deputy Butler with the Bibb County Sheriff's Department says that Jones, 28, was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon and charged with felony murder. Berrian and Jones are currently at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Complex. Hofmann said the shooting was reported at 1:48 p.m. Saturday. A spokeswoman for Coliseum Health Systems, Robin Parker, said the shooting happened outside the building on Northside Hospital's property. Randy Pelt said he was in the emergency room waiting to get treatment for his knee when he saw the men go to their cars to get guns. Pelt said, "As I was going to the door, one of the guys that didn't die, the one in the white shirt. He come to the door, I saw a bullet hole in his left shoulder... and he had a gun in his hand. My main way of thinking was get that gun away from him before he shot me or shot somebody else. Like I told him I wasn't trying to be a hero, I just didn't want to get shot." A gun apparently used in the attack was lying on the ground outside the emergency room in an area cordoned off by police investigators. Berrian's brother, Freddie Jackson, says he's shocked his brother would do something like this unless he had to defend himself. "He's a typical guy. He don't start no trouble. He ain't lookin' for no trouble and he ain't out here trying to rob, steal and kill," said Jackson. "You gotta gun, I gotta gun, I didn't pull my gun, you shot me. When I fell, I shoot you back, that's what I'm supposed to do." Chief Executive Officer of Coliseum Northside Mark Nichols says he's never seen an incident this severe at the hospital. "It is really difficult to control everything that goes on outside the hospital," said Nichols. "Obviously [this is] a very tragic event, but thankfully it's extremely rare." Hofmann says police don't know if Berrian or James knew each other. Check back with for updates to this story.

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