Herman Lee Smith III of Bowdon allegedly shot Franklin man Cardarius Steagall multiple times in the upper torso at an establishment referred to as Club 100 in Bowdon. Steagall died on the scene.
Sgt. Marc Griffith with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said no conflict was evident between the two, but he felt there was some discord between two groups at the party.
“There seems to be some form of friction between the group from Heard County and the group from Bowdon,” Griffith said. “Some sort of underlying dispute.”
Griffith said that no matter what conflict might have been brewing between the two men or groups, he still found the killing “senseless.”
“It’s just senseless,” Griffith said. “That’s the only way to describe it.”
As for Smith’s criminal history, Griffith said he and other investigators are looking into his involvement in several crimes in Richmond County, in the Augusta area. Griffith said he believes Smith may have lived in that part of the state for several years, but recently returned to Carroll County, where his family resides.
The two men were attending a party at a building on the 3600 block of Highway 100 in Carroll County, just north of Ephesus.
No one else was injured at the party, as far as police know, which Griffith said is a miracle.
“For there to be multiple shots fired in such a small space with so many people,” he said, “it was a miracle that no one else was hurt.”
The building at which the shooting occurred, the so-called Club 100, is not a licensed or regulated business establishment, but is instead rented out occasionally for private parties, like the birthday party the two men were attending.
Griffith said he and other investigators have located the building’s owner, and will be asking him how often these private parties occur.
“We’re trying to determine what’s going on there,” the sergeant said. “If they’re going to be having these kinds of crowds, then they have to be regulated. They’ll have to be up to fire codes because we want to know that when people go here that it’s going to be a safe environment.”
Griffith said he’s gotten reports of somewhere between 50 and 100 people who were attending the party.
Steagall was known to many as “Duggie,” with many friends and family taking to Facebook over recent days to offer prayers and condolences.
Smith is currently being held in Carroll County Jail.