Police Say Saturday's Killing Is Gang-Related

8:34 AM, Nov 22, 2010   |    comments
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  • Picture of Denzel Clark from his aunt, Ernestine Hallman
  • Ernestine Hallman, Clark's aunt, with his family

Macon Police say the shooting that killed a 20-year-old Macon man and wounded a teenager late Saturday night is gang-related.

The shooting happened on the 180 block of Cleveland Avenue, according to police.  That's near Vineville Avenue and Pio Nono Avenue.

Officers found 17-year-old Courtney Patterson in the front yard of 181 Cleveland Avenue, police say.  Patterson was shot in the right arm and as of Sunday evening, was in critical but stable condition.

Macon Police Spokeswoman Jami Gaudet says police found 20-year-old Denzel Clark of Macon near Patterson's body.  She says Clark was shot in the center of his spine and says he was not responsive.  

Clark was a target in the shooting, not Patterson, Gaudet said.  The shooting may have been a "retaliation" involving at least two specific groups.

The call came in around 10:30 p.m., police say.  The officers were initially responding to a loud music complaint at a party at 122 Cleveland Avenue.

When they got there, a big crowd was in the street and people were throwing things at the police cars, the release says.  The officers heard gunshots and called for back-up.

Both were taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia.  Bibb County coroner Leon Jones says Clark was pronounced dead at 11:19 p.m. 

Clark's aunt, Ernestine Hallman, says her nephew was in a gang, and says she believes his death was gang-related.

"Some gang member had a party over there, and some other gang came over to shoot it up," she says.

A neighbor, Christian Losito, says the area is usually a quiet place. He says police collected a dozen or more bullet casings in front of his driveway where the shooter or shooters were standing.

"It's terrible, for a small town this size," says Losito, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade.  "I can't believe there is this much crime going on here."

Clark's death comes on the heels of two anti-violence events in Macon on Saturday, including a gun buyback effort to help keep the city safer and a march against violence, which took place two miles from the shooting.

Hallman says she's bothered by her nephew's killing and the 19 other killings in Macon this year.

"I tried to tell him to turn his life around," she says.

Macon police say no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information can call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME or Det. Cedric Penson at 478-447-3997.

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