Gwinnett police arrest teen accused of beginning fatal gunfight at July house party in Snellville

Snellville resident Travais Ways, 16, was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center, though he’ll be tried as an adult on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. (Special Photo)

This week Gwinnett police arrested a teenager accused of beginning a gun fight at a Snellville house party that left a 17-year-old dead in July.

Snellville resident Travais Ways, 16, was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center, though he’ll be tried as an adult on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.

Ways allegedly got into a fight about a stolen cell phone while he was at the summer party on the 2900 block of Aviator Circle at about 12:30 a.m., said Cpl. Deon Washington. At the time, witness statements estimated there were about 100 people at the party.

As the fight escalated, Ways pulled out a gun and began to fire inside the crowded home. Lithonia resident Aundre Brooks, 19, was acting as a security guard at the party. Washington said Brooks took out his gun and opened fire in the house as a response to Ways’ gunfire.

Officers arrested Brooks, 19, Oct. 21, 2016. He’s being held in Gwinnett County jail.

Ways and Brooks may not have been the only teens with guns at the party. Washington said at the time that “several people produced firearms and began shooting.”

All the gunfire led to the death of Lithonia resident Jahlah Branch, 17. Officers found him dead on the scene with a gunshot wound in his head.

“The loss of life for such a young person is always a tragedy,” Washington said at the time.