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Athens man walking dog targeted in drive-by shooting

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man reported he was targeted by a drive-by shooting Wednesday as he was walking his dog, Athens-Clarke County police said.

The 38-year-old victim, who was not injured, said he was talking on the phone while walking the dog on Freeman Drive like he does every day when, at about 2:20 p.m. near Loblolly Drive, a dark blue or gray 2004 Honda Accord with white letters on the back window drove past and the driver pointed a gun at him, firing the weapon several times, according to police.

The man said he immediately hit the ground, dropping his phone and letting go of the dog’s leash, according to police.

He described the shooter as a black male in his early 20s, who had a small build and a low haircut, possibly with some thinning in the front, police said.

Police noted that the victim recognized the shooter’s car as one used by a woman he once was involved with, and that the shooter had a passenger who he could not see, but was under the impression the passenger was needed to point him out for the shooting.

A few days before the shooting there was a burglary at the home of the victim’s uncle, who lives across the street from him on Sayemore Drive, and that a video of the burglary appeared to show that the woman the victim had spoken of was involved, according to police.

The uncle said after posting the security video to Facebook in an attempt to identify the female suspect, someone commented that he “should be careful about posting things of this nature and reminded him that there were people who cared about the suspect in the footage,” an officer wrote in a police incident report.

A detective who was familiar with the woman in the video told officers that she and her boyfriend live together at Bethel Homes, and when officers went to the apartment complex, they found a car parked there that closely resembled the vehicle used in the drive-by.

The police report noted the car’s engine was still warm, and the vehicle’s back window displayed in white letters “RIP TISH.”

Officers knocked on the door of the apartment where the female suspect lived with her boyfriend, but no one answered. They noted that to the side of the door there were markings and writings that included the words “TISH” and “RIP TISH.”

After the man who was targeted by the drive-by positively identified the car, the vehicle was towed to the east police precinct to process it for evidence, police said. 

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