Athens police investigating three weekend shootings

Athens police on Monday continued investigating three weekend shootings, the first occurring early Saturday when a man returned to his eastside home and exchanged gunfire with a burglar.

 

Later that night, an investigation by officers of gunshots fired in a west Athens neighborhood resulted in a police pursuit into Oglethorpe County, where a car was forced to a stop and its four occupants arrested.

The third shooting occurred during a rap concert Saturday evening into Sunday morning at Club Venom on Commerce Road. A man was shot in the chest and others suffered superficial injuries during the rush to get out of the club.

The weekend of gun violence began at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday when a man leaving work returned to his home on Winterville Road, police said. 

The homeowner entered the house with his pistol drawn because of a noise he heard while unlocking the front door, according to police.

Upon going inside the man found a burglar with his face concealed by a stocking crouched in a hallway. The homeowner chased the intruder out a back door and fired three shots as the burglar ran toward some woods, police said.

The burglar returned fire four or four times from the woods. The homeowner was not injured and police said there was no evidence that the suspect had been shot.

The victim told police an AR-15 rifle he had recently purchased was missing, as was a bag of coins containing about $200.

The incident is being investigated by Detective John Johnson and police asked anyone with information concerning this case to call Johnson at (706) 613-3888, ext.113.

The next shooting occurred on the west side at about 1 p.m. Saturday, when several gunshots were heard coming from the area of West Broad and Minor streets by officers who were already in the area. When going to investigate they saw a group of people running on Minor Street as if they were fleeing, police said.

When a car was seen speeding from the area, officers pursued it on several side streets and then on Lexington Road into Oglethorpe County. Oglethorpe deputies stopped the car by ramming it from behind in an attempt to get the vehicle to spin out.

The car’s four occupants were identified by police as Andricus Henderson, 21, of Winter Circle; and Jerimirra Sheats, 17, Antarius Holland, 18, and Antarius Holland, 18, of Cross Creek Drive. They each charged with aggravated assault, reckless conduct and littering. Henderson was also charged with running a red light.

The fourth person in the car was a 16-year-boy from Athens whose name was not released by police due to his age. He was charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault, reckless conduct and littering.

The littering charges were from the suspects throwing items from the car as they fled from police. None of those items were recovered, police said.

After the chase and a forensics unit processed the Minor Street crime scene for evidence, police said they found several spent bullet cartridge casings.

The third shooting occurred at about 1:24 a.m. Sunday at Club Venom at 1700 Commerce Road, which was formerly occupied by Country Rock Café.

One man was shot in the chest in the stage area after some type of altercation, according to police. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was said by police on Monday to be in stable condition.

Police said the club at the time had been “severely overcrowded” by people who came to see a performance by Atlanta rap artist Lil Baby.

Though no one else was shot, police said several people suffered superficial injuries from the rush to leave the club when the gun was fired.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Tim Johnson at (706) 613-3330, ext 331.

Follow Criminal Justice reporter Joe Johnson at www.facebook.com/JoeJohnsonABH or www.twitter.com/JoeJohnsonABH.

 

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