One dead, 20 year old Charged with Murder - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

One dead, 20 year old Charged with Murder

July 24, 2006

Americus - A party in Americus ended in a deadly hail of gunfire Saturday night. Police say a 20-year old man opened fire outside the Elk's Lodge. One man is dead, three others injured.

In the early hours Sunday, the Elks Club on North Jackson Street in Americus was shutting down. People and cars crowded the parking lot, preparing to go home. That's when shots rang out.

District Attorney Cecelia Cooper says, "At least five young men got into an argument outside of the Elks Club here in Americus Georgia. Four of them were shot, one of them unfortunately shot fatally."

19 year old Dekeildric B. Thorton was killed. 18-year old Christopher Thomas, 24-year old Friddie Allen and 26-year old Algemean Harris, all of Macon County were also shot, but are okay.

Cooper says, "They had a DJ there Saturday night, early Sunday morning who tends to be rather popular. So he attracts a larger crowd. And usually crowds from out of county."

Police were tipped off to look for 20 year old Shavis Neal, who, according to police, also goes by "Big Toon". He was found in Dooly County, where he lives.

Neal is charged with one count of murder and three counts of aggravated assault. "It seems to be a growing trend in our area that young people are shooting young people and it's sad," says Cooper.  "It's sad for our future. That's the frustration, not being able to get the word out that there are better ways to deal with problems."

Investigators say others were in the car with Neal when he opened fire on the victims, but no one else has been charged. The .22 caliber gun used in the shooting was found in Americus.

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