By Joe Johnson
An Athens man was arrested Monday for attempted murder for a possibly gang-related shootout last month between occupants of two vehicles as they drove through traffic.
Dwight Donterrius Brown, 28, of Cabin Creek Road was arrested for aggravated assault on the day the of the incident, but the following day Magistrate Court Judge Benjamin Makin reduced the charge to reckless conduct and granted bond, which Brown subsequently posted.
Athens-Clarke police Lt. Shaun Barnett said Tuesday, “I believe the issue at the time was we didn’t have a victim.”
However, a victim was later identified and the case was again presented to Makin, who signed warrants charging Brown with criminal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault, said Barnett, who is ACCPD’s public information officer.
The victim was Deundre Trymane Moses, 23, of Acadia Drive who Barnett said was in the car with occupants who exchanged gunfire with Brown.
Moses was arrested for aggravated assault on Nov. 11.
According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, the incident occurred the afternoon of Oct. 23.
Officers responded at about 3:37 p.m. to a reported shooting in the area of Commerce Road and the Athens Perimeter, where they met with Brown who explained that he had been in his car in the Creekstone neighborhood when the driver of maroon Nissan Versa fired a gun at him, but missed and struck the pillar between the windshield and driver's door.
Brown said that as he pursued the other car towards the neighborhood's exit to Commerce Road, he fired about three rounds from his pistol through his windshield at the other car, according to the police report, and as he continued to chase the car south on Commerce Road a passenger in the car began shooting at Brown, who the report indicated continued to return fire through his windshield.
Brown said he followed the other car to the perimeter’s entrance ramp, where he indicated he fired most of the shots from his Glock 27 semiautomatic pistol, according to the report, which noted that at the ramp the Nissan swerved around stopped traffic while Brown continued to shoot at it.
“Brown stated that at one point during the pursuit his firearm jammed and he had to clear the jam to continue firing,” according to the report. “Brown further stated that his vehicle was failing to gain speed (and that) if he was in another (better functioning) vehicle ‘someone would be dead.’”
According to the report, Brown had been involved in several shootings in the past that are believed to be gang-related, including a homicide that was deemed justified and “Brown stated that as a result of this past homicide, ‘people’ have been attempting to kill him.”
He described the occupants of the Nissan as black males who wore blue ski masks and said members of the NBA (Never Broke Again) and Gangster Disciples gangs had tried to kill him in the past, and assumed that last month’s shootout was not a random incident and that he was still a target for the two gangs, according to the police report.
The report noted that officers recovered from Brown’s car 29 spent cartridge shell casings, along with a 50-round drum magazine for the pistol and an eight-round magazine.
“Brown’s actions of pursuing the Nissan Versa and continuing to fire his weapon after the Versa disengaged were reckless and unjustified in nature due to the circumstances,” an officer wrote in the report. “The pursuit and shooting were engaged in a very high traffic area of Athens, with multiple vehicles and possibly pedestrians being around the area of fire, causing the shooting to be an active threat to life and property other than the intended targets.”
More than two dozen bullets reportedly were fired during the incident, according to the report.
On April 6 charges stemming from Brown allegedly shooting another man in September 2019 at the Clarke Gardens apartment complex were dismissed.
In a motion to dismiss charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez stated that even though there had been probable cause to arrest Brown, “after reviewing the evidence the State does not believe there is sufficient evidence to prove Defendant’s guilt as to the charges beyond a reasonable doubt were the case to proceed to trial.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Brown and Moses were being detained at the county jail without bail being set.