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5 dead, several injured after violent Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta

Atlanta Police (dave conner/WikiCommons)

At least five people are dead and several more are injured after a series of stabbings and shootings that occurred in less than 48 hours over a violent Thanksgiving holiday, according to Atlanta police.

The incidents happened days after Atlanta recorded its 130th homicide of the year, solidifying 2020 as the deadliest year on record in nearly two decades.

Police on Thursday were sent to a home in northwest Atlanta after a man was shot and killed during an argument, officials said.

Officers were called to the 2200 block of Carver Drive in northwest Atlanta about 5:15 p.m., according to police spokeswoman Officer TaSheena Brown. They arrived to find 38-year-old David Denson with a gunshot wound to the torso, she said.

He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Investigators determined Denson was shot while “in the commission of an aggravated assault following a verbal argument.” The details of that incident are unclear. The man who fired the shots was briefly detained by police, but wasn’t charged, Brown said.

The fatal shooting was one of several that Atlanta police officers were called to investigate over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Less than two hours later, police responded to Hardee Street in northeast Atlanta, where they discovered a man who had been shot in the head and killed. Investigators said the victim, who has not been identified, was involved in a fight prior to the shooting. No additional details have been released and police are still searching for a suspect in the case, Brown said.

About the same time, Atlanta police responded to a shooting in the 800 block of Mayson Turner Boulevard where a man had been shot in the shoulder, Channel 2 Action News reported. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and is expected to be OK.

Early Thursday morning, police were called to the hospital after a woman was dropped off at Grady about 1:30 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the back. A friend who took her to the hospital told investigators their vehicle was hit by gunfire after they had been with an acquaintance in the 1500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The victim, who was not identified, underwent surgery Thursday morning and was reported to be in critical condition but stable.

Later, a man was shot in what officers were told was a dispute with a neighbor at his home on Lakewood Avenue. The victim, identified as William Robinson, 36, was shot in the hand and stabbed several times in the back. Police said Robinson refused to tell them what happened or who shot him. However, investigators said the victim’s wife told them he was shot during a dispute with a neighbor at their rooming house. The neighbor fled the scene before officers arrived.

On Wednesday, police investigated two other shootings, one of which resulted in a man’s death.

Shortly after 10 p.m., officers responding to a shooting outside a Moreland Avenue grocery store found a man who had been shot in the head. Despite efforts by emergency crews to save him, he died from his injuries, police said. That man’s name has not been released.

Also Wednesday, a man working as a security guard at a complex on Woodland Avenue was shot in the leg after apparently chasing two men he recognized from a previous incident, authorities said. The victim, Demetric Howard, 26, was taken to Grady, where he was in stable condition Thursday. Howard told police he returned fire at the men but was unsure if he struck them.

Investigators also responded to a series of domestic incidents over the holiday, including a murder-suicide that occurred Friday morning at a northeast Atlanta home.

Officers responded to the 800 block of Drewry Street shortly after 2 a.m. after being asked to conduct a welfare check, Brown said. Police got a spare key to the home from neighbor before entering the house and discovering two people dead of gunshot wounds to the head.

A woman’s body was discovered in an upstairs bedroom and a man was found dead in the home’s basement, according to police.

“The preliminary investigation revealed the male shot the female occupant and later retreated to the basement of the location where he shot himself,” Brown said, adding there were no signs of forced entry and a handgun was found near the man’s body.

Investigators said the two were related, but no additional details about the case have been released.

Atlanta hasn’t seen homicide counts this high since 2003, when there were 148 killings across the city, records show. According to the police department’s latest crime data, murders are up more than 40% compared to this time last year and shootings are up 35%, though most other crimes are down amid the pandemic.

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(c) 2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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