• Police make arrest in shooting, robbery of UGA student

    By: Richard Elliot

    Updated:

    ATHENS, Ga. - Athens-Clarke County police have arrested a man accused of shooting and robbing a UGA student in Athens Monday.

    Police arrested Zarren Garner, 20, in Gwinnett County Tuesday morning. Garner is charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault. 

    Police said they were called to the shooting at a bus stop on South Milledge Avenue near the 10 Loop just after 7:15 a.m. Monday.

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    When police arrived, they found Tate Prezzano, 22, on the ground. They said he'd been shot multiple times and was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

    [RELATED: Father of UGA lacrosse player shot during robbery: 'We're blessed & thankful']

    Not long before that shooting, police say Garner also robbed another student at a nearby apartment complex.

    Investigators said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation sketch they released Monday led right to Garner. They said the sketch made by GBI forensic sketch artist Kelly Lawson was so accurate that people who knew Garner started calling in tips and leads.

    "If you look at the sketch compared to his photograph, the two are nearly identical, and you cannot underestimate the value of that," GBI's Mike Ayers said.


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    Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill said the tips led directly to tracking down Garner to a home in Gwinnett County. Police said Garner chopped off his distinctive hairstyle in an attempt to hide.

    Channel 2 Action News obtained an email to students, faculty and staff sent Monday morning about the armed robberies.

    "We are deeply saddened by these tragic and shocking events," the email said, in part. 

    Zac Hendrix lives barely 5 yards from where the shooting happened. He said he heard the whole thing.

    "So I was just lying in bed. I heard, 'Pow! Pow!' and I was, like, 'Whoa.' So then I woke up immediately, ran outside and I looked on the ground, and there was a picture I never want to see again," Hendrix said.

    Justin Bray grew up in Athens and lives down the street from where the shooting happened. He said he never expected to see something like this in his neighborhood.

    "It's always been a very safe part of town. I mean, Athens is always safe. I was born and raised here, and I’ve never felt unsafe here," Bray said.

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