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Athens teen remains hospitalized as police continue deadly gang shootout investigation

Fatal shooting victim Alijah Nelson in a 2020 Facebook photo

By Joe Johnson

An Athens teen remained hospitalized Monday as police continued to investigate what they called a gang-related shootout last week in which another teen was killed.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, 19-year-old Alijah Nelson of Scandia Circle on Friday afternoon was killed in a shootout with Deneritus Marquies Wilson, 18, of Fourth Street.

“Initial investigation indicates that the two subjects were known to each other and the shooting stemmed from a gang-related dispute,” said Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD’s public information officer said.

Deneritus Marquies Wilson

A specific motive was unknown and the investigation continued on Monday.

Police do not usually release the name of street gangs with which members are affiliated.

However, police said that Nelson was one of several gang members who were arrested in December during an operation by the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and agents with the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force.

Both teens posted Facebook photos with traditional gang trappings such as guns, money and smoking blunts.

A screenshot of a TikTok video of Deneritus Wilson dancing to rap music while holding a pistol and rifle
Alijah Nelson fans out bills in a display of money

Police previously said they responded to the shootout at about 4:45 p.m. to an area between Citgo at 145 Gaines School Road and the Goodwill store in the Willowood strip mall on Lexington Road.

Nelson had been killed and the Wilson was transported by National EMS to the hospital with injuries that police indicated he was expected to survive.

In an apparently related matter, police said they were investigating a house in the 1500 block of East Broad Street that was shot up at about 1:40 a.m. Monday. A part of the house that was targeted was a bedroom formerly occupied by a 20-year-old male, police said, whose family indicated that "he has relationships with people that were involved in the shooting on Gaines School Road..."

No one was injured in Monday's incident.

The investigation is ongoing, and police asked for anyone with information regarding the incident to call 706-613-3330.

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