COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Lt. Joey Gideon with the Columbia Police Department said investigators in his department are “very pleased” with the judge’s decision to treat Darius Fitzpatrick as an adult.
Fitzpatrick faces charges of first degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in the death of Gordon Schaffer.
Schaffer was shot to death at the age of 22 after two black men, one allegedly Fitzpatrick, entered the Papa John’s on Shady Brook Ct. to rob the business.
Schaffer, who was the only person inside the store at the time, was shot despite complying with the robbers’ demands. He died later that night.
The prosecution previously stated they wanted to try the teen as adult and their request was granted Wednesday.
“Mr. Fitzpatrick committed a very serious crime and he should be held accountable as an adult would be,” Lt. Gideon told News 2.
He went on to say he hopes the decision sends a message to teen offenders in the community.
“Just because they’re juveniles, they are committing these violent crimes out there. We’re going to treat them like adults as far as our court proceedings go,” said Lt. Gideon.
Lt. Gideon said his department is still actively investigating the case. Detectives are continuing to talk to people and take statements and review forensic evidence.
If convicted, Fitzpatrick faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Surveillance video of the robbery and murder showed a second person with Fitzpatrick when the crime occurred. That person has not been arrested.
“I feel confident that we’ll be able to locate that person,” he told News 2.
Anyone with information on the second suspect’s identity should call Columbia police at 931-380-2721.