Arrest made in fatal Athens gang shootout

Updated: Nov 1

By Joe Johnson

An arrest has been made in connection with an alleged fatal gang-related shooting earlier this month.

Jefferey Rice, 26, was arrested Friday and charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Athens-Clarke County police said on Monday.

The shootout killed 19-year-old Alijah Nelson of Scandia Circle on Oct. 18, when, police said, he and 18-year-old Deneritus Marquies Wilson, 18, of Fourth Street shot at each other in an area between Citgo on Gaines School Road and the Goodwill Store in the Willowood strip mall off Lexington Road.

Rice was a suspected driver for the shooting, according to Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD's public information officer.

Since the shootout, there have been five drive-by shootings that targeted homes in Athens that police believe were gang-related and possibly sparked by the deadly shootout.

No one was injured, and police have not announced any arrests for the drive-bys.

The investigation remains ongoing, and police asked for anyone with information incident to contact Detective Paul Johnson at 762-400-7060 or paul.johnson@accgov.com.

Anyone with information about any criminal street gang activity is asked to use ACCPD’s Crime Tip Line at 706-705-4775, or email the Gang Unit at gangunit@accgov.com, or through their anonymous online tip website: https://www.accgov.com/FormCenter/Police-27/Criminal-Gang-Activity-Tips-759.

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