Douglas County

HS football player, 3 other teens arrested on murder charges after gang-related ‘Sweet 16′ shooting

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has arrested four teens they say were involved in a shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party that left two teens dead.

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The shooting happened on March 4, when over 100 teenagers were at a party on Talkeetna Road and police say the suspects opened fire.

Ajanaye Hill,14, and Samuel Moon,15, who were both innocent bystanders, were killed. Deputies said seven other teens were injured.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office released a video of three teenagers being taken into custody.

During a news conference on Wednesday, authorities identified the teens as Chance Terrell McDowell, 17; Timothy Coleman Jr, 18; and Chase Terrence McDowell,17.

Chance McDowell plays tackle on the varsity football team at New Manchester High School in Douglasville, according to recruitment website Hudl.

Kingston Cottman, 17, was arrested later on Wednesday. Deputies released a second video showing Cottman being walked into the sheriff’s office in handcuffs.

It’s unclear who fired the fatal shots, but all four teenagers are charged with two counts of mass murder, nine counts of aggravated assault, and seven counts of aggravated battery. Other charges are pending including participation in gang activity.


At the news conference Wednesday, Sheriff Tim Pounds held up a weapon in a plastic bag.

“This a Glock 9,” he pointed out.

Investigators said Coleman had the Glock 9 at the time of his arrest. Channel 2′s Tom Jones asked the Sheriff if he believed the weapon was involved in the shooting.

“I certainly do,” Pounds said.

Deputies said the teens who were killed and injured were not the intended target.

“It’s a gang hit. It was gang-related,” Pounds said.

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Channel 2′s Candace McCowan spoke with one of the victim’s parents on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. after she got the news about the suspects being arrested.

“I was expecting a call before the end of the week because I had been praying that they had some type of news or something for my daughter’s death,” said Chanell White, the mother of 14-year-old Ajanaye Hill. “I was happy but I also was sad because it’s not going to bring her back.”

White said it’s amazing teens can get their hands on guns.

“Why do ya’ll have guns? Where did ya’ll get them from? So whoever sold them to them or hand them, they need to be held responsible as well,” White said.

Samuel’s uncle applauded the arrests. The family laid Samuel to rest Tuesday.

“We were leaving the cemetery and we got the call so it was a bittersweet moment,” uncle Richard La Fleur said.

The Sheriff said the arrests are rewarding.

“Very, very rewarding. Because that was my job and that’s what I promised and that’s what I’ve done,” Pounds said.

The families of both teens have set up GoFundMe accounts for Hill and Moon.

Officials say the investigation is still active and ongoing.


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