By Joe Johnson
Two young Athens men were seriously injured over the weekend in a gunfight at a westside housing complex.
Demarkeo Burton, 19, and Jaquaras Grant, 20, both of Carter Street, shot each other during an exchange of gunfire Sunday afternoon at Rocksprings Homes, according to an Athens-Clarke County police official.
“Both Burton and Grant were shooting at and successfully shot each other,” said Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Criminal Investigations Division.
“They were both transported to the hospital for treatment,” he said. “They have serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.”
Officers responded to the public housing complex at about 3:15 p.m. on reports of 10 or more gunshots that were heard in the area of Rocksprings Court, according to a police incident report.
When officers arrived, they reportedly found Burton lying on the roadway, surrounded by a crowd of people and being held by another male. When an officer lifted Burton’s shirt, he saw two possible bullet wounds to the teen’s abdomen, and another officer said Burton's leg appeared to be broken.
Though in a lot of pain, Burton was able to say that he was returning from somewhere on Baxter Street when “out of nowhere someone he didn’t know just started shooting at him," according to the police report.
He said the shooting happened between apartment buildings, and that he ran until he collapsed where police found him, according to the report.
The man who was holding Burton in the street said he was outside his apartment when he heard about 20 gunshots come from higher up in the complex and he went to Burton’s assistance upon seeing the teen collapse, according to the report.
“He initially said he did not see any of the shooting but he wanted to help because there are too many people shooting each other and dying,” according to the report.
After officers learned the male might have removed a weapon from the scene, they spoke to him again, at which time he said that he saw Burton collapse when shooting back up the hill, according to the report, which noted the male did noy know about a gun being removed from the scene.
EMS and fire personnel arrived to take over caring for Burton, who was transported to Piedmont Athens Medical Center.
While officers were investigating the shooting of Burton, they were notified that a gunshot victim, later identified as Grant, had been dropped off at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Grant was subsequently transported to Piedmont Medical Center, which the report noted was better suited to treat severe gunshot injuries.
Nichols said the shooting incident continued to be investigated.
“There are no charges currently as we continue to investigate the reasoning behind the shooting,” he said.
Carter Street, where the victims resided at different addresses, is located a few blocks from Rocksprings Homes
Nichols said investigators believed there were witnesses to the gunfight.
He urged anyone with information about the incident to contact Sgt. Greg Dickson at 762-400-7070.