The Gwinnett County Police Department responds to the scene where two people were found down outside the Celadon Townhome Apartments in Norcross Monday morning. The victims were two white males in their 20's, one was dead from a gunshot wound and the other was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center with serious head trauma. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
Press briefing from shooting
The Gwinnett County Police Department responds to the scene where two people were found down outside the Celadon Townhome Apartments in Norcross Monday morning. The victims were two white males in their 20's, one was dead from a gunshot wound and the other was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center with serious head trauma.
NORCROSS — Young Alicia Amaya, wearing her pink and blue T-shirt touting pop megastars One Direction, didn’t hear the pair of gunshots other neighbors reported Monday morning. She didn’t see the man rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center with head trauma.
She did see the dead body, though. The legs, at least.
“We’ve been living here for 10 years,” she said, checking for approval from her mother. “But nothing like this has ever happened before, until now.”
Gwinnett County police were dispatched to Alicia’s apartment complex — Celadon Townhome Apartments, 6055 S. Norcross-Tucker Road, unincorporated Norcross — at about 7:10 a.m. Monday in response to a person down call. Outside Building F, across a parking lot from Alicia’s home, one white male was dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Another white male had “serious head trauma” from “some blunt force object,” Cpl. Edwin Ritter said, and was taken to the hospital. Both men were believed in their mid- to late-20s.
It was unclear Monday morning why the men were at the complex that has almost exclusively Hispanic residents. Their vehicle was parked at a nearby shopping center.
Speculation held for some version of the proverbial drug-deal-gone-bad, but it was merely that.
“We don’t know for sure,” Ritter said, “but it’s speculated that the motive behind it may be a bad dope deal. But we don’t know that for sure at the moment.”
A large portion of the parking lot in front of Building F and the complex’s nearby office were cordoned off with police tape Monday, as homicide detectives and members of the crime scene investigation unit canvassed the area. Several pieces of evidence were gathered and potential witnesses were interviewed, but no suspects were readily apparent.
“They’re following up on all leads that they have at this time,” Ritter said.
The surviving victim was believed to be communicating with investigators. Neither man’s identity was released.
The incident was an extension of a violent weekend across the county. A married couple, ages 59 and 63, were stabbed to death in their home on Worrall Hill Way in Duluth Saturday night, and Gwinnett County police also found a body at Duluth’s Bella Vista Apartments Sunday afternoon.
Friday and Sunday saw a fatal crash and a peacefully resolved SWAT standoff, respectively.
The county had made it almost seven months in 2013 with just nine homicides. Last year, Gwinnett had 41 homicides.
On Monday, Alicia, her shirt hanging long over denim capris, echoed her mother’s thoughts on the morning: “Miedo,” or scared.
“I was just out here with my mom, looking,” she said. “And then I came over here to see if the body was there.”
It was. She looked at her mother again.
“She always tells us to be careful, not to go too far,” Alicia said.