Suspect in birthday party murder has violent past, victims ID'd

Ohave Whitfield

Ohave Whitfield

LAWRENCEVILLE — The man accused of Sunday’s birthday double shooting in Lawrenceville remains on the lam and — due to his recent actions and a violent past — should be considered armed and dangerous, officials said.

Gwinnett County police believe 40-year-old Ohave Whitfield opened fire at 2119 Crystal Lake Drive just after 5 p.m. Sunday, killing 53-year-old Alicia Johnson and injuring her 31-year-old daughter, Dana.

Whitfield’s estranged wife, Lois, reportedly called 911 as he fled in a teal Volvo with Georgia tag PRI4493.

“The shooting occurred just after a birthday party for the Whitfields’ young children,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. “Most of the attendees had already left the party when the victims arrived.”

Authorities believe Whitfield, described as a 5-foot-8, 165-pound black male with the word “insane” tattooed on his hand, may be heading for Shreveport, La. and is possibly armed. He “may pose an ongoing threat” to the surviving victim and her family, Smith said.

“Whitfield reportedly had a long standing dislike for the victims,” he said.

No information has been released regarding a specific possible motive. The exact nature of Whitfield’s relationship to the victims was unclear.

Jail, prison and court records show Whitfield has a violent, rocky past, both at the home in unincorporated Lawrenceville and elsewhere.

In January 2011, court records show three different people living at 2119 Crystal Lake Drive — the scene of Sunday’s homicide — filed temporary protective orders against Whitfield. Those people included his wife, who also filed a similar motion the year prior, as well as another couple.

The filings, colloquially known as restraining orders, were likely the result of a Jan. 16, 2011, incident leading to Whitfield’s arrest on battery and interfering with a call for emergency assistance charges.

Over the years, at least two other women have filed the same paperwork against Whitfield, though it was not believed either of Sunday’s victims had ever lodged formal complaints against him.

In 2001, Whitfield was convicted on armed robbery and hijacking a motor vehicle charges, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Online records show he was released from the Macon State Prison in Dec. 2008 after serving about five and a half years; he had been paroled early on in his sentence but was re-incarcerated twice after allegedly violating the conditions of that parole.

Anyone with information regarding the wherabouts of Whitfield, who has also used the first name “Ohaye” in the past, should call Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5300 or CrimeStoppers at 404-577-TIPS.