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Arrest made in Athens shopping center shootout

Johnathan Matthew Taylor

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County police on Friday announced the arrest of a suspect who allegedly was involved in a shootout the day before in the parking lot of a shopping center on Alps Road in West Athens.

No one was injured, police said, but a bullet reportedly shattered the glass entrance door of Palm Beach Tan, 130 Alps Road, with the bullet just passing over the head of an employee.

No one in the tanning salon or anywhere else in the shopping center was injured, according to interim Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Jerry Saulters.

Officers inside Palm Beach Tan, which was damaged during a shootout in the parking lot on Friday

ACCPD’s public information officer, Lt. Shaun Barnett, said that early Friday evening police communication officers “received multiple 911 calls in reference to shots being fired in the area.

“The callers indicated that occupants from two separate vehicles were shooting at each other,” he said, “descriptions of the vehicles were given and responding officers made contact with a white Honda Accord which matched the description of one of the involved vehicles.

“A traffic stop was conducted on this vehicle,” Barnett said. “During the course of the traffic stop, officers located a stolen handgun.” As a result, Johnathan Matthew Taylor, 26, of Lavender Road was arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property.”

Barnett added that the investigation was ongoing and additional arrests were expected to be made.

According to a deputy at he jail, Taylor was released Saturday afternoon upon posting a $5,00 bond.

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