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Suspects, victims identified in downtown Athens shooting

Updated: Nov 3

West Clayton Street was the scene of a shooting that injured two people

By Joe Johnson

Two young men from Athens are identified in a police report as suspects in the shooting early Sunday that injured two victims during a brawl on West Clayton Street.

Both suspects are 20 years old, according to the Athens-Clarke County police report, one of whom lives on Spring Valley Road and the other resides on Vincent Drive.

Police on Thursday would not say if arrest warrants had been issued or applied for, nor would they discuss how the suspects were identified.

According to police, officers were near the 100 block of West Clayton Street at about 2 a.m. Sunday when they heard multiple gunshots.

When the officers arrived at the intersection of West Clayton and Hull Street they encountered a large brawl in the roadway outside of Tropical Bar, according to ACCPD, and after the crowd was dispersed the officers found that two people had been shot in their torsos.

EMS transported the victims to the hospital with serious injuries.

The victims are identified in the police report as Akeel Kolen, 31, of Athens and Deon Marquel Gardner, 18, of Elberton.

Kolen has since been released from the hospital, but he said that he might possibly lose an eye that was badly damaged when he was beaten during the incident.

Police have declined to comment on possible motives.

"Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident to determine the circumstances surrounding the altercation and gunfire," ACCPD spokesman Geof Gilland said.

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