COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A double homicide overnight left the Muscogee County coroner struggling to identify the two victims.
Now, their names are released and officials are working to find out the motive behind their deaths.
These deaths mark the 22nd and 23rd homicides in Columbus so far this year. But the twist is, the victims aren’t from Columbus and no one knows why they were here.
Mellon Street is not unfamiliar territory for the Columbus Police Department. Just a few months ago, a homicide left a woman dead in the same 400 block where three men were shot Sunday night. Two victims died Sunday and had no I.D. on them. A third is fighting for his life at Piedmont Columbus Regional.
“Without two idenities, we had people calling," said Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan. "We had a lady looking for her 13- year-old son. He was missing. She was afraid it was going to be him. It was just mass hysteria.”
Bryan said it took between six and seven hours to confirm the identifies of the victims and notify their families. 24-year-old Lyatray Buchanan and 28-year-old Lamonte Muff both died from multiple gunshot wounds around 11 p.m.
What Bryan, law enforcement, and the victim’s families are left wondering is why Buchanan and Muff were in Columbus when they are from Albany.
“I asked both families if they had any idea. Certainly not. They had no clue,” said Bryan.
Neighbors in and around Mellon Street said they are scared to comment or talk about the crime. They are afraid of retaliation.
“Well, I don’t have any knowledge of gang retaliation or gang-relation," Bryan said. "If I had to assume, yes I would assume. What would two people from Albany, Georgia be doing out on Mellon Street where we had multiple over the years?”
Police have not said anything about what may have led to these shootings or why these two men were in that area. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Columbus Police Department Homicide Unit.