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Police investigating apparent gunfight in west Athens neighborhood

By Joe Johnson

An apparent gunfight broke the early morning silence of a neighborhood in west Athens late last week.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, a house occupied by an adult and three teens was shot up at about 1:45 a.m. Friday, but no one was injured.

Officers who had been at the YMCA on Hawthorne Avenue reportedly heard a “large amount of gunfire” that seemed to be coming from the area of Whitehead Road, and while responding to investigate multiple 911 calls were made reporting there was a gunfight in the area of Whitehead Road and Laurel Drive.

The officers located a home at 165 Laurel Drive that had multiple bullet holes in its front and side walls, as well as a window, the report noted.

A 38-year-old male who answered the door told officers that he was the only person in the residence, but when clearing the house officers located the man’s stepson and two other teens hiding in various rooms, according to the report.

The teens reportedly told officers they had been playing a video game in a bedroom when they heard a lot of gunfire and took cover.

The teens said they did not shoot back, but officers reportedly found evidence that some of the gunfire had been directed away from the house.

“We were only able to recover 17 shell casings due to the heavy foliage covering the ground,” an officer wrote in the police report. “We also recovered shells toward the front door, front left, and the left side of the house on the porch, but there were no bullet hole entry marks in that area. The porch area is fenced in thus indicating that someone was shooting away from the house as well.”

One neighbor reported seeing a male wearing a gray hoodie running west on Laurel Drive toward Whitehead Road, and another reported that three males ran through his yard during the gunfire and got away in a vehicle.

Ring cameras at neighborhood residences apparently recorded parts of the incident.

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