DeKalb County

14-year-old arrested after young father shot to death in front of his toddler at DeKalb gas station

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy in the shooting death of an innocent bystander who was killed outside a gas station in DeKalb County.

The incident occurred at the Shell station on Covington Highway at Wellborn Road around 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Police identified the victim on Friday as 28-year-old John Battle. Police said Battle was leaving the gas station when a group of people were in an argument.

Dozens of shots rang out, with people shooting from both inside the gas station and in the parking lot, witnesses told police.

Battle, who was in the car with his girlfriend and their 16-month-old daughter, was caught in the crossfire.

Channel 2′s Christian Jennings spoke to Battle’s mother, who said the family was at the store to pick up some energy drinks and were caught in the crossfire as they tried to drive away. Battle crashed the car and the shooters sped away.

“My son and his girlfriend were bent over in the car ducking in the car,” Battle’s mother said. “And I guess my son came up too early and that’s how he got shot in the head.”

Battle’s mother called her son an all-American boy who was kind and generous and a hard worker who was dedicated to his family. She said her granddaughter is now going to miss out on having a great dad.

“She’s not going to have a mentor to show what a man should be to a young lady, because he was taken away from her in senseless violence,” she said.

The shooter was also shot and is currently in the hospital. He has not been identified because he is a minor. He has been charged with armed robbery and felony murder.


Channel 2 Action News crews reported seeing dozens of evidence markers covering the parking lot of the gas station.

Further down the stretch of road that’s blocked off, Channel 2 crews could see a car crashed in the wood line with more evidence markers.

No details on possible suspects have been released.