Police arrest suspect in deadly child custody exchange shooting
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A man accused of murdering a father in front of his children Saturday afternoon surrendered to DeKalb County deputies Wednesday.
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Charvez Ryals, 39, of Lithonia, has been charged with felony murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
Ryals is accused of shooting and killing 31-year-old Daniel Wise during a child custody exchange. The shooting happened at the Oaks at Stonecrest Apartments on Evans Mill Road in Lithonia.
According to police, the shooting happened in front of Wise's three children. Police said Ryals' girlfriend is the children's mother.
Thankfully, none of the children were injured. However, Wise's best friend was shot once in the back.
Ryals surrendered to the sheriff's office without incident and was booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
"We went over there to pick up his kids," Wise's best friend Robbie Johnson said. "After Daniel put the kids in the car, the mother's new boyfriend unloaded his weapon."
Jonhson said he was sitting in the passenger seat when the gunfire erupted.
"He just started shooting at the car, so I immediately shielded them as best I could," Johnson said. Johnson was shot once in the back, but his friend, Daniel, was shot multiple times.
"He couldn't breath and I tried to put pressure on all of his wounds," Johnson said. "He was shot in the head and he asked me not to leave. Then asked me if he was going to die."
Police say medics transported Wise to the hospital where he later died.
"My dad came to see me at Grady and that's when he told me," Johnson said.
Wise's family said if it weren't for Johnson, Wise's kids may not have survived.
"This man shot my nephews nine times and in the head," Wise's Aunt Kathy Jackson-Shepherd said. "He unloaded his gun at the car and at my nephew's children. Robbie got shot trying to protect them."
As Wise's family waits for justice, they can't help but feel the empty hole already in their hearts.
"Daniel woke up yesterday and had no idea that he would be gone by night," Wise's Uncle Scott Tolbert said. "All of the family will be at our gatherings and there will be someone missing. It's heartbreaking. He was just a dad going to pick up his kids and he was murdered."
Wise leaves behind his three children.