Police track Intown Suites homicide suspect to Mississippi

by: Tony Thomas Updated:


LILBURN, Ga. - Gwinnett County police say they've captured the alleged gunmen in a weekend homicide and are now looking into whether it was a revenge killing.

Detectives say Philip Pugh shot Vincent Newsome Saturday in a stairwell at the Intown Suites on Highway 78.
Sources say several witnesses and Newsome himself were able to identify Pugh as the suspect. Newsome then died at a local hospital a short time later.
Police say Pugh fled to Mississippi where he was captured on Monday.
Detectives believe Pugh targeted Newsome because Pugh believed Newsome was one of several men who attacked him and a family member late last year, drugging them, beating Pugh and then sexually assaulting the relative.
Pugh and the family member filed a complaint Feb. 26, reporting they had just begun remembering the entire attack after seeing a video that a friend showed them of the incident.
The cellphone video was allegedly taken at the Intown Suites 5 months prior and "the individuals in the video were sending it to other people in the Intown Suites."
"Detectives have been taking that into account in this investigation with this possibly being a motive," said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department.
In the incident report, Pugh's relative told an officer that the video showed everything and Pugh's "eyes were open in the video, but they were unresponsive.  The other men were spitting in (his) mouth and punching and slapping him."
Pugh's relative was then reportedly sexually assaulted on video.
Detectives believe Pugh made that report by phone from Mississippi, and then travelled to Gwinnett County to track down the men he believed were involved.
The incident report quotes one of the victims as identifying a man named Vince as an attacker.
Resident Steven Carcana witnessed the shooting. He has two wounds in his leg where he says he was hit by fragments of debris. He was one of several residents of the Suites expressing surprise at the possible motive behind the killing.
"I just saw the suspect pull out a pistol and just started firing into his stomach...The last words I heard Vincent say was, ‘What are you doing with that?’" Carcana says.
Police say they have no idea if Vince and Vincent Newsome are the same individual but they believe Pugh believed so.
Detectives spent Monday travelling to Mississippi, hoping to interview Pugh and find out more about a possible motive.
Most residents at the Intown Suites say they are just happy a suspect is in custody.
"I am elated, I am so glad that they caught him. for the last couple of days I've been numb," said Michelle Alspach.
Intown Suites Spokesperson Collier Daily released a statement Monday saying, "We are actively working with local authorities in their investigation of a fatal shooting that occurred on Saturday, March 1 at our Lilburn property.
“As the investigation is ongoing, we must refer any specific inquiries to Detective M.S. Kenck with the Gwinnett County Police Department. We want to commend law enforcement personnel for their swift action and the progress they have made in this investigation.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of our guests and employees. We will provide authorities every assistance possible to ensure that justice is served."

Channel 2 Action News

Delivered To Your Inbox