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Jefferson man charged with murder in Jackson County double shooting

Joe Johnson

A Jefferson man is facing a murder charge for a double shooting Friday in Jackson County that killed one of the victims, according to Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum.

The shooting was reported at about 1:40 p.m. by a someone who called 911 from 4575 S. Apple Valley Road in Jefferson to report that two people had been shot, according to authorities.

In a news release Monday morning, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the victims as Joshua "Josh" Alton Smith, 27, of Commerce and Justin Taylor Lyle, 20, of Danielsville.

Both were transported to local area hospitals

Smith died as a result of his injuries, according to the GBI.

Shortly after the incident, deputies identified and located the suspected shooter, Christopher Thomas, 32, of Jefferson, who was taken into custody without incident.

An arrest warrant for murder was subsequently taken out on Thomas, according to the GBI.

Mangum would not discuss a motive for the shooting or other details about the case, as the investigation is being headed by the GBI, which indicated that an investigation was ongoing.

“This is a very sad situation,” Mangum said. “Any time someone loses their life is disturbing, and when children are left behind it is especially disturbing to me.

According to his obituary, Smith was a native of Winder and is survived by a fiancée and a daughter.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, from the Chapel of Evans Funeral Home with Mr. Stacey Aldridge officiating with burial in White Chapel Memorial Gardens, 1832 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth.

The family will receive friends, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at the funeral home.

Donations to assist the family with funeral and other expenses can be made by visiting

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