Police: Driver ‘intentionally crashed’ into Georgia Walmart, killing a man
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray News) - Police announced Friday they believe the 18-year-old accused of smashing a car into a Walmart in Thomasville, Georgia, purposely drove into the store and struck pedestrians.
Khalil Pugh received more than 10 charges during his first appearance, including malice murder, felony murder, homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault with intent to murder. The Thomasville Police Department also said Friday they upgraded the investigation to a homicide after their findings uncovered Pugh’s alleged purposeful crash.
Georgia State Patrol claims Pugh drove a gray Toyota Camry through a Walmart parking lot rapidly before crashing through its front doors Wednesday. The wreck killed 66-year-old Kenneth Kennedy, a Monticello resident who was exiting the store when the car blasted through the entry.
Authorities said other shop-goers were injured, but officials declined to provide a specific count of those harmed.
Pugh held up his middle fingers at the judge after he was denied bond during the Friday hearing, prompting audible gasps and commentary from the courtroom. One member of the group told him, “Get it together.”
“That’s what you call having no remorse,” an officer said.
Bailiffs grabbed Pugh and removed him from the courtroom.
A statement from Thomasville Police Department also read that Pugh “was involved in a series of entering autos at a separate location just prior to travelling to Wal-Mart.” He was charged with “entering automobile” as well, meaning he tried to enter cars to steal them.
Pugh was also charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and second-degree criminal damage to property.
He attempted to flee the scene of the crash but bystanders apprehended him, according to police. Officials also report there was a passenger in the car with the Pugh. Both individuals were both brought in for questioning.
The relationship between Pugh and the passenger is unclear. It is also not clear if the passenger will face any charges or is still in custody.
Authorities declined to answer questions about the passenger, citing the ongoing investigation.
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