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Suspected shooter in Athens gunfight arrested upon release from hospital

Jaquarus Khalifkemon Grant

By Joe Johnson

One of two men who were seriously injured during a shootout two months ago at the Rockspings Homes apartment complex was arrested Monday following his release from the hospital.

Jaquarus Khalifkemon Grant, 20, of Sawdust Road in Hull, was charged with aggravated assault and taken to the Clarke County Jail, where he was being held without bail as of Friday afternoon.

The status of the other man injured in the Oct. 18 shootout, 19-year-old Demarkeo Burton of Carter Street could not be immediately learned from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

According to a police incident report, 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.

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.

“Both Burton and Grant were shooting at and successfully shot each other,” Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Athens-Clarke County police Criminal Investigations Division said after the shooting.

He did not disclose a possible motive forthe incident

Nichols said investigators believed there were witnesses to the gunfight. He asked for anyone with information about the incident to contact Sgt. Greg Dickson at 762-400-7070.

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