Arrest made in drive-by shooting

STATHAM - Three people have been charged in connection with a drive-by shooting in Statham last weekend, and another is being sought.

Sgt. Thomas Hinson, spokesman for the Statham Police Department, said several shots were fired around 6 p.m. March 26 when a black Dodge Neon carrying four people drove up to a group of at least five people standing outside at the intersection of Peters and Euclid streets.

The area, which is called The Sub, is a known drug area in Statham. Earlier this month, a Statham police officer moved into a home on the street to increase police presence, but Hinson said she was out of town at the time of the shooting.

Hinson said one of the four people in the Neon exited the vehicle and began firing shots from a .25-caliber handgun before fleeing. Winder resident Ashley Alice Watson, 18, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, and warrants have been brought against 22-year-old Winder resident Monterio Keshaun Cooper and a 16-year-old juvenile. The fourth person's identity is unknown to police.

No one was injured in the shooting. Hinson said it was unclear how many shots were fired and that police only found one shell casing.

Hinson said he did not have a motive for the shooting and could not comment about whether it was gang-related. He did confirm that a gang called the Statham Untamed Boys operates in the area and has a rivalry with the Winder-based Hot Boyz.

Hinson credited officer Kit Graves, who lives on the street where the shooting took place, for helping to build relationships with members of the community that led to police being able to identify three of the people allegedly involved in the shooting. He said her presence will help to decrease that sort of activity in the area.

Additional charges against Watson, Cooper and the juvenile are possible, Hinson said.