Community reacts to VSU student’s death

| July 17, 2017

VALDOSTA – We’re learning more about the Valdosta State student that was shot and killed Wednesday night. The 19 year-old was found at the Gates Apartments on Baytree Road in Valdosta.

Police responded to the apartment to find VSU student Zachary Butler dead. The apartments are located right next to the Valdosta State campus.

“It’s a shock, it’s a huge shock. It’s definitely scary,” said local bar owner, Brian Gay.

Gay owns the bar across the street from the apartments where Butler was found. He said Butler came in often for a game of pool.

“His apartment is right here. That’s his patio so we wave to him on a daily basis,” Gay said.

Gay said the area is a safe one, and in his three years of working there, he’s never heard of anything like it.

“This is a very rare event for Valdosta, especially in this neighborhood and so close to the college,” Gay said.

Valdosta police are actively investigating this incident, but they say it is believed to be drug related.

“Whether it was a college kid or a local person working, anytime you’ve got a death, its concerning to us,” said Lt. Adam Bembry of the Valdosta Police Department.

Gay said he’s keeping his eyes and ears open and staying alert from now on.

“We’re going to keep a good eye on our staff and keep our doors locked after hours.”

There have been no arrests so far in the case.

Butler was from Tifton and graduated from Tift County High School in 2016.

(WCTV Eyewitness News)

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2 Comments on "Community reacts to VSU student’s death"

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  1. Robert says:

    This is not rare these days in valdosta. I used to live in that area and things are getting bad there and all over that town.

  2. ABL says:

    So ask businesses and the community to put cameras up to record streets and alleys. That is what they do in South Korea and it works.
    These are the 2010s and those cameras do not cost that much now.
    You want to drive the criminals out, then you put up cameras.