Suspect arrested in south Augusta fatal shooting

Brandon Lee Cook
Brandon Lee Cook(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 11:54 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Deputies have made an arrest in connection with the shooting of a man found dead early Thursday in far south Augusta.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that investigators arrested Brandon Lee Cook and charged him with murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in relation to the murder of Benigno Santos that occurred at a residence in the 4900 block of Mike Padgett Highway.

Santos was found dead around 3:45 a.m. at the residence in extreme south Augusta near the Burke County line.

Upon their arrival, deputies found a male victim who had been shot at least once.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:50 a.m., according to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen.

An autopsy was scheduled for Friday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab.

He was the first of two homicide victims to be shot dead Thursday morning in unrelated Augusta cases. The other victim, Nicole Diane Harrington, 37, was a woman found dead in a downtown Augusta parking garage before the suspect, a former deputy, was involved in a standoff with officers near Appling.

The double-homicide day was reminiscent of one exactly a week earlier, when two people were shot dead before sunrise in Aiken County, S.C.

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