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Rincon man shot, killed in Statesboro
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STATESBORO — About 90 minutes before the shots that killed a Rincon man and wounded another were fired Saturday night outside a Statesboro nightclub, shots also rang out in a separate incident outside a nearby nightclub in which no one was injured, police said.

Johnnie L. Benton, 25, of Rincon, was killed and Jamal Heard, 21, also of Rincon, was seriously injured after an unknown black male opened fire around 2:30 a.m. at Primetime Lounge on Northside Drive West, Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.

“Both victims suffered from apparent gunshot wounds,” he said.

Heard remains in stable condition after being transported to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, he said.

Benton also was flown to Memorial, where he was pronounced dead, Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said.

Benton’s body will be taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Savannah this morning, Futch said.

Futch had no further information on Benton’s fatal injuries and police would not disclose further details, citing the ongoing investigation, Turner said.

Efforts Monday to locate friends and family members of Benton and Heard, as well as efforts to identify and locate the owner of Primetime Lounge, were unsuccessful.

The fatal shooting at Primetime Lounge occurred about an hour-and-a-half after another shooting incident at a different night club about a mile away, said Statesboro Police Advanced Patrol Officer Justin Samples, the department’s spokesman.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, shots were fired at the Platinum Lounge on Proctor Street, but no one was injured and “no victim has come forward,” he said.

Surveillance video from the Statesboro Herald, located across the street, captured images from the shooting incident, showing people scattering as the shots rang out.

The shootings are reminiscent of an unsolved murder at Platinum Lounge, where Akeila Rochell Martin, 32, of Statesboro, was fatally shot and another woman was injured on Aug. 19, 2012.

The Statesboro Herald cameras also recorded the scene that night, but police still have no suspect in that case, in spite of a reward being offered for information.

“This case is currently under investigation and no further details are being released at this time,” Turner said. “As more information comes in, it will be released to the media.”

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Investigations Bureau at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911.

Anonymous tips may be submitted online at or by sending a text message beginning with “TIPSSPD” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, he said.