By Joe Johnson
Three arrests have been made in connection with a gang related shooting that injured two people at an Athens student housing complex.
The incident happened May 31 during a gathering of trespassers that included members of the local Red Tape Gang at the pool at The Retreat on Milledge, a complex on South Milledge Avenue that largely caters to UGA students.
Court documents indicate the shooting happened when members of one gang “jumped” the member of a rival gang who showed up at the illegal pool party that as attended by about 50 trespassers.
Kobe Watkins, 19, of Bonnie Lane, a member of RTG (Red Tape Gang) was arrested Aug. 4 on charges of violating the state’s anti-gang statute and battery for “participating in a group jumping” of a member of the rival EBE (Everybody Eats) gang, according to the arrest warrant.
Prior to the group beating, a witness heard Watkins tell the victim, “You’re a bitch, stop coming to my side of town,” according to the warrant, which indicated that the beating was recorded by a security camera.
Watkins was also served an aggravated assault warrant for allegedly shooting into the occupied home of the same EBE member on Jan. 12.
Also arrested for pool incident was 19-year-old Zapond Charbijus Byrd of Parkview Homes, who was charged with reckless conduct for shooting a gun “in the middle of a large group of people,” according to the arrest warrant.
At the time of the pool shooting Byrd had a firearms charge pending in State Court.
Though he was not charged under the gang statute, police said that Byrd belongs to RTG.
A 15-year-old male who is reportedly is an RTG affiliate was also arrested for the pool party incident and charged with battery, violating the anti-gang law and making false statements to police. He was subsequently transferred into the custody of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
While officers were conducting interviews and collecting spent shell casings and other evidence at the scene of the incident, police said, a 20-year-old Athens man who did not live at the complex arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his foot that he received at the pool party. A second person was also injured by gunfire, police said.
Authorities believe that the incident at the student housing complex was a continuation of a violent feud between EBE and RTG that resulted in a homicide two months earlier.
Athens-Clarke County police said that on the night of March 5 in a Five Points neighborhood across from the UGA campus, RTG members were attending a gang party at a Northview Drive residence when a carload of EBE affiliates targeted the house with a fusillade of gunfire that fatally injured 24-year-old Ja’Vanni McDavid, identified by police as a member of the Red Tape Gang.
Police said that during the incident more than 40 rounds were fired during an exchange of gunfire between occupants of the car and people attending the party.
Four members of the EBE Street gang have since been indicted for murder under the anti-gang statute in connection with McDavid’s death.
According to police, RTG and EBE are competing subsets of Sex, Money and Murda, which is set of the United Bloods Nation street gang organization.