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Police investigate homicide at Lilburn apartment complex

Staff Photo: Tyler Estep. Police search the car of Angelo Larocca, whose body was found at a Lilburn apartment complex Tuesday.

Staff Photo: Tyler Estep. Police search the car of Angelo Larocca, whose body was found at a Lilburn apartment complex Tuesday.

LILBURN -- A Gwinnett County police officer patrolling a Lilburn apartment complex Tuesday afternoon discovered the recently-deceased body of a 19-year-old man, officials said.

The off-duty officer -- who works as a "courtesy officer" for The Columns at Paxton apartments -- stumbled upon the body of Angelo Larocca at about 1:55 p.m., during his normal rounds, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Witnesses reported hearing "two or three" gunshots just prior to the officer's discovery in a breezeway at the rear of the complex's 1000 building, Smith said.

Officials believe that Larocca's body was found "almost right after it happened."

Larocca was not a resident of the complex, located behind the Sports Authority store near the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and Killian Hill Road.

"We don't know if he was intending to meet someone over there, or what," Smith said. "That's all under investigation right now."

Friends and family gathered near the scene late into the afternoon Tuesday, alternately crying and being interviewed by investigators.

Several police officers searched a white Honda Accord for clues, dusting it for fingerprints and photographing its contents.

Smith said Larocca arrived at the complex with three friends in the car, which had a Walton County license plate.

"Those friends have been cooperative in the investigation," Smith said.

Police did not release information regarding motive or suspects.