Fire investigated as arson after 1 found dead, 2 injured

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A charred crime scene is all that remains after an unsolved murder in DeKalb County.
 
The apartment complex in Clarkston was destroyed by a fire that police are calling arson. A man was found shot to death outside that building.
 
A neighbor said he was drifting off to sleep when noises shook him awake early Friday morning.
 
“When I came out, there was a commotion, a fire, burning down building,” said neighbor Galen Drake.
 
Fire investigators said they went to the scene around 2 a.m. But already, more than half of the building was engulfed in flames. They also found a man outside dead from a gunshot wound.
 
Investigators aren't sure which happened first: the fire or the shooting.
 
But a source with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told Channel 2 the fire was started intentionally, to smoke out a suspected drug dealer, then shoot him.
 
People in the community were reluctant to talk, but one was visibly upset.
 
“I'm thinking it was messed up, because that was my friend,” a neighbor said.
 
A second person was also shot but is expected to be OK.
 
While police piece together what happened and why, fire investigators continue their work too, by checking hot spots to make sure the fire doesn't reignite.
 
Neighbors have their questions: Why were so many people's lives were put in danger, allegedly for just one person?
 
“It's good people, I say hi to the them, walk to the store, yeah, good people,” another neighbor said.



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