Upon arriving at the Cherokee Court address. officers were told by Veronica Alvarez Mereno that a black man armed with a rifle, along with two additional unarmed suspects, gained entrance to her home by kicking the lower panel from the rear door of her residence.
Mereno said that in addition to herself, three adults and five children also were present at the time of the incident.
Cpl. Bryan Clanton, of the GPD, speaking on behalf of the office of the chief of police, said officers with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office as well as state probation officers assisted in establishing a perimeter and searching for the suspects.
“We were really appreciative of the assistance of the other agencies, especially the probation officers,” Clanton said. “We’ve received some tremendous help from state probation (officers) on recent high-risk incidents. They are out at night checking on their probationers and have responded to help when needed. We could not have apprehended the suspects as quickly as we did without their effort.”
Clanton said following the invasion, the three suspects fled the area on foot, running through a fence that leads into the Versailles Apartments complex.
The men then ran through Regency Apartments, south of Versailles, exiting through a fence which leads to Meriwether Street.
A K-9 unit began tracking the suspects from the hole in the fence, leading officers to a black ski mask which was recovered at 1005 Meriwether St.
Authorities then located and detained five black males at that address.
One of the armed robbery victims was taken to that location and was able to positively identify three suspects, 19-year-old Quard Hooker, 18-year-old Demarcus Wright and an unidentified 16-year-old, all former students of RESA Academy, as those who committed the armed robbery.
Police say along with the ski mask, a stolen Hi-Point 9 mm carbine was recovered during the course of their investigation.
A fourth male also was arrested after police received consent to perform a search of the 1005 Meriwether St. residence, at which time a small amount of marijuana was recovered.
Cpl. John Hayes assumed control of the investigation and the suspects were interviewed and processed at Police Department headquarters.
Hooker was charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, aggravated assault, theft by receiving a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Wright faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault.
The 16-year-old juvenile was charged with criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, burglary and aggravated assault.
“The trio is also facing numerous additional felony warrants for a shooting incident on Thurmond Street, near Quiet Hills Apartments, and several incidents at Regency Apartments,” Hayes said.
Hayes said during the course of his interrogations, he also learned that the three suspects are allegedly members of a local gang in which members refer to themselves as the “Get Money Clique,” or G.M.C., as they “bragged about their affiliation with G.M.C.”
GPD officials say members of this gang are under investigation in connection with several burglaries which have occurred in north Griffin.