2 shot, 1 dead at hotel near Duluth

DULUTH — A Duluth man has been charged in a double shooting Thursday night that left one woman dead with a gunshot to her head at an extended stay hotel near Duluth, police said.

Gwinnett police arrested James Clay, 24, shortly after shots rang out at the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel at 2350 Stephens Center Drive, near Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 120.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said police responded to a report of shots fired at the hotel about 10 p.m. They found two victims who had each been shot once — the deceased woman and a man with a non-life threatening injury, Ritter said.

Police identified the female victim as 36-year-old Rashanda Patterson of Duluth. Joseph Emener, 36, also of Duluth, was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers obtained a suspect description and set up a perimeter in the area. They found Clay at a nearby apartment complex, where he was arrested without incident, Ritter said.

Ritter said Friday that investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shootings.

Clay is being held without bond in the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of murder, aggravated assault and weapons possession. He’s also being held for authorities in Hall County.

Clay’s wrap sheet in Gwinnett includes several arrests dating back to 2010. Charges have ranged from criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct and simple battery to a 2011 arrest for possession marijuana with intent to distribute, a case still pending in Gwinnett courts, records show.


Location of deadly shooting

Location of deadly shooting


Motor76 3 years, 2 months ago

I live near this "flop house" and the place is popular with the criminal element. Reports of disorderly conduct, assaults, drug dealing, stabbings, fights, and now MURDER, come out of this place often. What is up with management and security in this place. It being located outside Lawrenceville PD and Duluth PD patrol areas the criminals feel safe there not to mention close proximity to Hwy 85. I thing Gwinnett PD should step up and concentrate on this place with more patrols. The place is stinking up the neighborhood.


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