Man involved in apartment shooting that traumatized community pleads guilty


By Staff Report

A Georgia man who engaged in a gunfight at an area apartment complex, nearly striking and killing innocent bystanders, accepted his fate Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Jarrell McCrae, 32-years-old, has been held in the Muskingum County Jail since late September for his involvement in a shooting that left three drug traffickers, including himself, shot and a community full of young children concerned for their safety.

On the evening of September 15, less than 24-hours before the Vice President of the United States would visit Zanesville, the Zanesville Dispatch Center began receiving numerous calls of individuals being shot and wounded, as well as stray bullets penetrating through apartments of unsuspecting residents.

The shooting terrified the community, leaving many to wonder if their children and families would be safe living at the complex in the coming days, weeks and months.

Many individuals who Y-City News spoke to that evening were visibly terrified at a shooting that many residents said they would expect in Columbus but not a small town like Zanesville.

Children playing by a creek near the complex eventually found one of the firearms used in the shooting that would lead to McCrae being charged and indicted.

In court Thursday afternoon, Muskingum County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Litle explained the sequence of events that evening and its connection to numerous other shootings in the county.

McCrae was out driving in his 2020 white Dodge Durango when his girlfriend called him about individuals being loud outside her apartment.

Upon arriving at the Mapleview apartments, McCrae and the other individuals, with whom he knew, got into a confrontation which ultimately led to gunfire being exchanged.

Bullets would not just strike the three individuals, but also the doors and walls of neighboring apartments, some of which continued through into the apartments themselves.

At the time of the shooting, Zanesville Police Lieutenant Derek Shilling said there were numerous shell casings and blood found throughout the large crime scene.

McCrae’s defense attorney, Kris Hill, said if the case had gone to trial they would have argued self-defense as he was also shot in the confrontation.

Originally, McCrae was charged with eight felonies and one misdemeanor, which included attempted murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

McCrae also has a 2009 felony conviction in Georiga, for which he is legally disbarred from ever having a firearm, which resulted in additional charges.

As part of a plea deal between his defense attorney and prosecutors, McCrae agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges, including improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, a second-degree felony, for a joint recommendation of 7 years in prison.

Judge Kelley Cottrill ordered a presentencing investigation, with McCrae to be sentenced at a later date.

Zanesville Police Captain Scott Comstock said the case and conviction was the result of strong coordination by multiple area agencies and great investigative work by the city’s police and detective bureau.