Six shootings in Athens over eight-day period


By Joe Johnson

Athens--Clarke County police reportedly were investigating six shooting incidents that occurred within a week’s time this month.

A person was injured in one of the shootings that happened between Aug 15 and Aug. 22.

The first shooting was a drive-by that targeted a 21-year-old man as he stood outside of his home on Lavender Drive, and the following day, on Aug. 16 the same man was shot at again, police said.

The same shooter apparently returned on Aug. 21 and fired several rounds at the house but did not strike anything, according to police.

“Currently, it is believed that all of the incidents are connected,” said ACCPD Public Information Officer Lt. Shaun Barnett.

A short time before the Aug. 15 shooting, a 36-year-old male resident of the Lavender Road home saw a suspicious stranger on his property, according to Barnett.

“When the resident attempted to confront the male about what he was doing in the yard, the male walked off and made a comment about shooting the house up,” the officer said.

Soon after, a 21-year-old resident was sitting on the front porch of the home when three unknown black males emerged from a Nissan with one male holding a long gun, according to a police incident report. The victim ran off the porch and hid, police said, then he heard male voices yelling and shortly after that, gunshots rang out.

He was not injured but his home and vehicle were damaged, police said.

Then, at about 8:25 p.m. last Friday, police said that officers responded to the house for a third time, on a report that someone was shooting at the residence. No one was injured and no damage was reported, according to police.

Officers recovered six spent cartridge cases at the scene and reportedly located a neighbor who had surveillance camera footage of the incident.

According to police, the video shows a tall, slender black make with shoulder-length dreadlocks and wearing no shirt, and wearing black shorts with a white rag hanging from them, and black shoes walking down Lavender Road toward Tallassee Road.

The video reportedly shows the male stop in front of the previously-targeted house and shoot at the home several times before running away in the direction from which he came.

"The subject from the neighbor's video camera roughly matches the description of the subject from the initial suspicious person/threat event but detectives have not been able to positively identify the suspect, or suspects, at this time," Barnett said.

After those three westside shootings, three more occurred in different eastside neighborhoods, all on Aug. 15.

According to police, the first incident was reported at 4:16 p.m. at a house on Dublin Street where about a half-dozen bullets were fired at the residence.

A dispatcher advised responding officers that a woman inside the residence was armed in self-defense, police said, and when officers arrived, they found “numerous” bullet holes in the front of the house.

The 42-year-old resident who had been armed told officers that at the time of the shooting there were four other people in the house, ages 12 16, 17 and 28.

Some of the bullets penetrated the house, one passing through a living room wall and entering a bedroom where it struck a dresser, but no injuries were reported.

Several projectiles and cartridge cases were recovered by officers on the street outside, according to police, and one spent bullet shell was found under a bush near the front porch, which police said indicated that a shooter was very close to the house when firing a gun, or someone had returned fire at the suspects while standing on the porch.

None of the occupants of the house were able to provide suspect information or provide a possible motive for anyone shooting at the house, according to police.

About five hours later, at 9:38 p.m., police said that officers responded to another shooting in the 1600 block of East Broad Street, just around the corner from the Dublin Street house that had been shot at.

Officers met with the 54-year-old homeowner who said she was preparing dinner when she heard five to 10 gunshots outside, according to police. Upon looking out the window, the woman saw two black males running up East Broad, shooting at each other, police said.

A few hours later, the woman called police to say that her niece had pictures of one of the shooters, police said.

When meeting with an officer, the woman and her niece said that a male "had went on Instagram Live and stated that they were going to shoot them up again,” according to police.

When the officer asked the niece why the male would be shooting at someone, she reportedly replied that several years ago she had an altercation with a female who lived at the Dublin Street house that was shot at earlier in the day.

She also said that the female with whom she had the altercation and her friends were accusing (name redacted) of shooting at their little brother, who they call JR, according to the police incident report.

The East Broad homeowner reported seeing one of the males who was shooting outside her house get into a car occupied by a female and drive away.

The police report noted that the car fit the description of a car that was seen parked at the house on Dublin Street by officers who responded to the shooting at that location.

The sixth shooting happened Sunday night, when a man reportedly was shot while sitting in his car in another eastside neighborhood.

According to Barnett, officers responded to the area of Lexington Heights shortly after 2 a.m. to investigate a report of gunshots.

A short time later a 35-year-old male arrived at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg, Barnett said. The victim explained that he was seated in his car in front of his residence on Pamela Drive when a white pickup truck pulled alongside and fired several rounds, one of which went through the car door and struck him in the leg, according to Barnett, who said the man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The officer said that two women, ages 31 and 33, who were passengers in the car were not injured.

“Those three victims had been at a downtown bar earlier in the evening and were involved in a verbal altercation with a male not known to them,” Barnett said. “This altercation never became physical. However, detectives are not ruling out that the shooting could somehow be related to the earlier altercation.”

Police requested that anyone who has information regarding any of the shootings contact Lt. David Norris at (762) 400-7165 or david.norris@accgov.com

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