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Girl nearly struck by projectile in Athens house raked by gunfire


By Joe Johnson

Several children and adults reportedly avoided serious injury last week when more than three dozen bullets were fired at the house in northern Athens that they were in.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, a 12-year-old girl called 911 at about 2:20 a.m. Friday to report that she had nearly been struck by a bullet that had been shot into her house in the 400 block of Jefferson River Road.

The girl told an investigating officer that she had been sitting in the living room, where a 13-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were sleeping.

She said she heard gunshots and then “a projectile went through the wall and struck her on her right ankle, but did not go through her skin,” according to the police report.

Several bullets struck a couch and a cabinet in the living room, according to the police report, and four vehicles in the driveway were damaged by gunfire.

It was noted in the report that the three children all attend Burney Harris Lyons Middle School, and they said they did not know of anyone who could have been responsible for the shooting. An officer found a fourth teen, a 17-year-old boy, in the laundry room and sitting on a washing machine with his head down.

“He informed (me that) he goes to Clarke Central High School and is not involved in a gang,” an officer wrote in the report.

Neither the children nor the three adults in the house who slept through the incident were reported to have been injured.

Outside of the house, on the grass and in the street, officers located 34 shell casings that had come from two different caliber rounds, one of which is high velocity and typically fired by rifles, according to the report.

The report indicated that officers concluded that, from the locations where the casings were recovered, the bullets had been fired by at least two gunmen as they walked towards the house.

A surveillance camera in the neighborhood recorded a Nissan sedan driving past the house ar the time of the shooting, and its tag was registered to a GMC Yukon, which police said was found outside the Rocksprings Court home of its owner, who said her cousin had used the SUV earlier that night to drive to a store and back.

That vehicle was searched, but nothing of evidentiary value was located, police said, and officers were unable to make contact with the “cousin” who reportedly had driven the SUV.

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