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Athens man may have been killed by cousin acting in self-defense

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

By Joe Johnson

Charges have yet to be filed in the case of an Athens man who was fatally shot Saturday at a Nicole Circle residence.

Jabin Lenoir Mattox, 39, told police that he shot his cousin, 32-year-old Kendrick Emil Long when Long came to his home with a gun and began shooting at him and he returned fire, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

Long, who was shot at least twice, was transported to the hospital where he died.

As of Tuesday, police have yet to determine who the aggressor was in the deadly encounter.

“The investigation is still ongoing and no final determination has been made,” Lt. Shaun Barnett said. “However, self-defense has not been ruled out.”

Investigators are awaiting the results of Long's autopsy to assist in their investigation.

According to the police incident report, Long and Maddox used to live together at the Nicole Circle home in a neighborhood located off Lavender Road, but Long was asked to leave in September because he was not helping to pay bills.

On the day of the shooting, Maddox said he was driving home when he received a phone call from Long, who began to argue so Maddox hung up on him, according to the report.

A witness reportedly told police she saw Long in a vehicle that circled around the neighborhood prior to the shooting, the police report noted.

After arriving home, Maddox said he was in the bathroom when he heard his front door being kicked in, followed by gunshots, according to the report.

Maddox said he dove to the floor and crawled to his room to get a handgun that a friend had left, the report noted, and he then crawled down a hallway toward the living room, from where he could hear Long yelling outside and shooting into the house, and so he returned fire in his cousin’s direction.

After crawling into a closet with the intent to call 911, Maddox said he heard Long enter the house and say, "Cousin, you shot me," according to the police report, and when Maddox peeked through a crack in the door, he saw Long lying on the hallway floor.

Maddox said he then ran out of the house to call police, the report noted.

When officers arrived, they found that Long was unresponsive but still breathing, according to the report, which noted that National EMS transported Long to Piedmont Athens Medical Center, where he died.

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