Police: Teen shooting may be gang related

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

CONYERS -- The teens arrested in last weekend's fatal shooting at a house party may have been involved in a local gang or clique, according to Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson.

Tevin Aqwunray Williams, 17, of 1589 Broad St., and James Wansley Edwards, 17, of 3113 Center St., were arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting death of 18-year-old Dequavious Mapp of Conyers. The shooting broke out during a house party at 1228 Tree Leaf Lane. Two other Conyers juveniles, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, were also shot and injured.

Jeavoye A. Jones, 21, the occupant of the house, was charged with keeping a disorderly house.

Parties had taken place at the home in the past, according to Wilson.

Wilson said authorities found in the Sunday incident that everything had been moved from the home's bottom floor, except speakers, and the kitchen "was just sprawled with beer bottles and liquor bottles."

"It was an open space and he was using it for a nightclub," Wilson said.

There was a cover charge to get in the residence. Wilson said a high school senior, armed with a shotgun, acted as security.

Wilson told the Citizen on Tuesday that two local gangs were represented at the party that Saturday night, Street Boyz and IBN, which stands for Irwin Bridge N*****. At some point during the party, the two groups were allegedly flashing gang signs and colors. Wilson said the home's owner may have moved the groups outside and that is how police suspect the shooting started.

Police think Edwards was part of Street Boyz, Williams was part of IBN and Mapp was also part of IBN.

"Even though we have these smaller, local gangs, groups, cliques, whatever you want to call them -- their propensity to violence is obviously there because they're walking around carrying guns," Wilson said. "And the next thing you know, somebody says something and you got a shooting on your hands."

Wilson pointed to the Nov. 6 incident in which an 18-year-old boy was stomped and beaten to death at a party in Douglas County.

"It's not a unique local problem, but, dear Lord, it's certainly a problem," Wilson said. "And it's a problem that's going to have to be solved by people working together -- people in the community, law enforcement, the government, the schools, the churches."

The police chief said it's not unusual for people to go to parties to enjoy themselves, "but when you start shooting at each other in a crowd of around 100 people in a residential complex, it's gone too far."

"And in this community, we're just not going to tolerate it," Wilson said.

Both Williams and Edwards allegedly fired shots at the party. Ballistics testing will determine which shooter fired the bullet that killed Mapp, who was a senior at Rockdale County High School.

Williams and Edwards each face charges of reckless conduct, aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm on or near a public highway, and possession of a pistol by a person under 18 years of age. Williams was also charged with theft by receiving stolen property as the weapon he allegedly used was reported stolen out of Rockdale County.

"This investigation could go on for awhile," Wilson said.

Up to 300 teens were at the party. Police first responded to the residence for a noise complaint about 9:30 p.m. and Jones told police that he was going to close down the party. The shooting broke out just after midnight.